If you’re looking for a soundtrack for your new year’s resolutions, take a listen to Grammy-winner Dorinda Clark Cole’s latest release In The Face of Change. The 6-track EP was quietly released on September 21, 2009 through Harvestime Ministries. The project came about through Dorinda’s association with Verizon Wireless as a judge on their famous How Sweet The Sound Choir Competition.
I was a little worried that this independent venture was an indication that Dorinda had split with the label that launched her solo career, GospoCentric Records. However, a rep from Zomba Gospel Group confirms Dr. Cole is still on the label’s roster.
For this set, the Clark Sister known as the “jazzy one” takes a few refreshing departures. Breaking from her usual choice of traditional gospel as a musical backdrop, Dorinda wraps her voice around some energetic, inspirational, adult contemporary fare. Though the songs specifically have the mainstream in mind, they keep the gospel at heart.
The brightest star on the set is the pop-leaning, radio friendly “Change,” written by Dorinda’s son J. Cole. The hopeful tone of the song itself would lend itself well to being the musical centerpiece of a pro-Obama commercial, while the bombastic marching band drums make you want to get on a treadmill and keep your latest resolution.
Before you look at the tracklisting and make the obvious comparison, “This Is It” has absolutely nothing to do with Michael Jackson! It does indulge Dorinda’s self-professed love of dance with its bouncy electro-disco beat though. (And you have to like the reference to The Clark Sisters hit “Livin’” that Dorinda slides in for us toward the end.)
The novel war cry “B.A.M.M.” is weighted on one side with electric guitar and on the other with church-soaked organ lines. For those who can’t wait to figure out what the acronym stands for, allow me to spoil it: Believers Authorized, Mastering Mortality.
Although In The Face of Change is slanted toward uptempo numbers, it’s not without it’s share of ballads. Turning our attention to global plights such as homelessness and ecological crisis, “One World One Love” admonishes us to take responsibility and put our faith in action. “Unshakeable” opens with an intro fit for a classic jam by the likes of Anita Baker or Frankie Beverly & Maze before it settles into an easy midtempo groove. And as always, the Clark Sisters are faithful to honor their mother Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Dorinda pays tribute to Dr. Mattie in the poignant “Thank You For Prayin’.”
Dorinda talks about In The Face of Change in depth in a radio interview with C. Ivan Johnson of KING Talk radio. Check out the three-part feature on YouTube:
Dorinda Clark Cole On KING Radio: Part 1
Dorinda Clark Cole On KING Radio: Part 2
Dorinda Clark Cole on KING Radio: Part 3
For more info on Dorinda Clark Cole and Harvestime Ministries, visit www.dorindaclarkcole.net or myspace.com/officiallydorindaclarkcole. You can also find more information on The Clark Sisters at www.theclarkspace.com as well as rare video clips on the fan-driven YouTube channel youtube.com/theclarksisterstv.