Speak Those Things: POL Chapter 3

As one of very few who can truly take credit for ushering gospel into the era of modern urban and R&B music, anything Fred Hammond does is closely watched.

As one of very few who can truly take credit for ushering gospel into the era of modern urban and R&B music, anything Fred Hammond does is closely watched. After seeming content to be a songwriter/producer/ensemble director, his first solo album in six years arrives with great expectations. And it delivers on every count. Long past being merely a hip-hop innovator, Hammond shows both proficiency and exuberance across the musical spectrum. "You Are My Daily Bread" and "I Will Say" are jaunty R&B jams that could sit just fine in pop formats. "Lord of the Harvest" is ear-to-ear-grinning Motown soul, while "Show Yourself Strong" is a rich, hooky, bluesy ballad. Two-decades-plus down the line, the king of contemporary gospel never sounded better.—GE