From the Vault...


Yolanda Adams
"Mountain High Valley Low"

© Elektra Records

Year of Release: 1999

track listing
  • Time To Change
  • Yeah
  • Fragile Heart
  • That Name
  • In The Midst Of It All
  • The Things We Do
  • Open My Heart
  • Wherever You Are
  • He'll Arrive (Coming Back)
  • Contunual Praise
  • Already Alright

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    Yolanda Adams Website
    Previous Review: #1730
    Michael Hilder--The Storm Part One: The Search For The Grail
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    Joe Cocker--Hymn For My Soul
    Yolanda Adams
    "Mountain High Valley Low"

    Yolanda Adams is a gospel singer, record producer, actress, and radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show. Two of her albums reached #1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums Chart: Mountain High Valley Low (2000), and The Experience (2001). Mountain High Valley Low would be her debut album. It gets the review this week. A combination of R&B and gospel has the musical flavors for this album. The R&B flavored tunes can easily match that of today's R&B, and maybe some of the Hip-Hop playlists; definitely NOT Rap. As for the final verdict, Mountain High Valley Low is a very good album, and of course, the lyrics reflect on Christian and religious values, and believing in God.

    The R&B flavored tunes gets the musical comparisons to that of the most recent performers, especially that to Beyonce, and even the group she was with before her popularity as a solo artist -- Destiny's Child. The album starts with a Beyonce-flavored R&B song, "Time To Change." The next two songs are even better. They both have the R&B sound, and in my own opinion, they are the best two songs from the album: The upbeat "Yeah," and "Fragile Heart" would be the better of the two, having a more soulful sound, that being compared to the great ballads by Boyz II Men.

    Two other singers come to mind comparing to songs from this album. The first, would be Whitney Houston. "That Name" has the Whitney'ish style, and being a slow gospel ballad. However, I would have to say in comparing Yolanda to Whitney on this particular tune, Whitney would be the better singer. The other singer would be Mariah Carey, where she would be compared to on "Open My Heart," likewise, Whitney Houston. "Open My Heart" is another slow ballad, and better than Yolanda's "That Name."

    "In The Midst Of It All" showcases more of the true Gospel feel, and also fits the style of R&B (and today's R&B). "The Things We Do" is another slow R&B ballad. On the topic of R&B, "Wherever You Are" fits this genre, and can fit today's Hip-Hop/R&B. R&B to that of Beyonce. As it fits today's R&B, definitely not Rap, however for today's Hip-Hop, not all of this particular genre has Rap. It is more R&B to that of actual singing. The R&B style has more singing, where Rap is, well, you know, Rapping words together, without the notice of where singing instead could define an artist's talent as a singer, better than that of a rapper.

    Beyonce's former group, Destiny Child, definitely has the sound on "He'll Arrive (Coming Back). It's an upbeat R&B song, just as upbeat as the music of Destiny's Child was. More on the upbeat R&B gets the remaining last two songs from the album: "Continual Praise," and "Already Alright."

    Upbeat R&B, Gospel, Hip-Hop are the flavors here on Yolanda Adams' Mountain High Valley Low. But let us not forget the Christian-themed lyrics. And let us not forget that Yolanda Adams is known as a Gospel singer. However, the lyrics on some songs reflect with loss, self-esteem, uncertainty. Yet, it is quite possible that when all in doubt, there is God to turn to. And with believing in Him, He can make things better.

    The lyrics to "Fragile Heart" involves losing a loved one. With lyrics such as "I can't imagine going on with you in my life," and "I ain't got no time to pretend that I'm not missing you," the struggles of losing a loved one is life changing. Yet, with these words and lyrics: "When I think about, think about life, Lord I think of you. I forget about everything else. There's only you and I can't think about ever givin' up, Ever givin' up the fight. The only thing that matters When I'm goin' thru Is givin' my fragile heart right back to you." That in particular, tells to never give up. To worship and let God into your life. He can make things better. Although when losing a loved one, he/she has now gone home to God, and is in a better place. Especially when that person was in ill health. We can always believe, that that person is now watching us, and will always be in our heart.

    "In The Midst Of It All" is a pure Gospel sounding track, with it's full Gospel choir, and Yolanda's powerful Gospel sounding voice. These lyrics from it, says it all: "I've come through many hard trials - Through temptations on every hand - Though Satan's tried to stop me - And to place my feet on sinking sand - Through the pain and all of my fears - The Lord was there to keep me - For He's kept me in the midst of it all." Another one is the lyrics to "Yeah" - "Can I be committed is the question in my head - All the issues in my life keep holding me back - Can I live up to the standard? Seems so hard to do - Then you tell me take your hand, - You'll help me maked it through." [When in doubt, follow the Lord; he will set you free.]

    Is "Time To Change" about adultery, or just being a bad person? "A man I knew from the neighborhood - Whenever I see him, he's up to no good. - Taking from others to get what he wants - And he thinks that there's no way he'll - Ever get caught."

    But here's another track that surely defines the meaning of following the Lord, and all good things will happen - "That Name." "There is a name that is so precious - A name so wonderful to me - This name is worthy of all praises - Because of Him I am made free - That name is Jesus, O how I love Him - The One who gave Him life for me." The rest of the lyrics is just as positive, full of love.

    In one interview, she says she told God she is not trying to be like Whitney, or Mariah, and too old to be like Brandy. "I need to be me, but I need to broaden my music base so that everyone can hear Your word." And as for the "when times in trouble" lyrics in the songs on this album, she gathers from her own experiences, both personal and professional. "Everything happens to us for a reason. You know God turns all the stuff that we have messed up with into little gems that we can live our lives by; for the rest of our lives, as a matter of fact. ANd I also believe that what God does with us is He says, 'Yeah, you messed up,but let me fix this and let me turn it for your good.' Click here for more on Mountain High And Valley Low review.

    Her message from the lyrics is basically "When in doubt, turn to the Lord." For many, it can be hard to do. Don't ever get up. Let God "fix this and let Him turn it for your good." Musically, Mountain High Valley Low produces some great R&B and Gospel styles. Let God into your life, and let Him take away your doubts, fears, and loss.

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    Previous Review: #1730
    Michael Hilder--The Storm Part One: The Search For The Grail
    Next Review: #1732
    Joe Cocker--Hymn For My Soul