GOSPEL SONGS VOL. 1 BY LEE HAWKINS
WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE
Gospel Songs Vol 1 By Lee Hawkins is a compilation album produced, arranged and composed by Hawkins, a songwriter/singer who is also known as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. The songs, which feature several young, rising singers from as far away as Ireland and Jamaica, feature a variety of genres and styles, from Gospel House and songs featuring Gospel Choirs, to Worship & Praise, Contemporary Christian and unplugged piano-only versions of Hawkins’ songs. It also features “Calvary,” a classical concerto that reflects upon the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
While the album consists mostly of Gospel-sounding songs, it highlights Hawkins’ versatility as a songwriter, demonstrating that even more than singers, songwriters and producers who possess the ability to create across genres can exercise that option more freely. In fact, Hawkins produced different versions of a few of his songs, featuring them with different singers and approaches. In doing that, he showed his range and his ability and openness toward writing songs across genres and producing each song in a way that fits the specific artist he is working with.
One of the songs with deeply spiritual lyrics is “The Kingdom’s Come,” featuring Ryan Whyte Maloney from Season 6 of the hit television show, The Voice. The song, dedicated to Hawkins’ grandfather and father, is about a man in hospice coming to terms with his immortality.
I’M NOT GONNA MAKE IT OUT OF THIS HOSPICE BED
OH SOON I’LL BE GONE NOTHING REMAINS TO BE SAID
I FEEL THOSE AROUND ME FORM OF CIRCLE OF LOVE
BUT OVER THEIR CRIES THE ANGELS WHISPER ABOVE
I’M BORN OF HIS SPIRIT…I’M WASHED IN HIS BLOOD
THE WHITE LIGHT IS GLOWING YES THE KINGDOM HAS COME
I MAY LOOK WEAK
I MAY BE WORN
BUT I’M NOT WEARY
OH I AM STRONG
AND THOUGH MY BODY
IS SHUTTING DOWN
I FEEL THE ANGELS
I FEEL THEM FLOCKING
AND THEY’VE DESCENDED
TO TAKE ME HOME
TO SEE THE FATHER
TO SEE THE SON
THE HOLY SPIRIT
THE KINGDOM’S COME
THE KINGDOM’S COME
The first single, “We’ve Come to Praise Him (Gospel House Remix)” is a remix of Hawkins’ “We’ve Come to Praise Him (Service Starter), which features a choir. The song is an upbeat dance song written to bring people of all age groups into the gospel space, and the music video for the single features young dancers from all over the world, including Hong Kong.
I THANK THE LORD BECAUSE HE TOOK THE HATERS FROM MY LIFE
I PRAISE THE LORD AT WORK AND EVEN WHEN I EXERCISE
I THANK THE LORD FOR NEVER LEAVING ME ALL ALONE
I’LL PRAISE THE LORD UNTIL THE DAY HE CALLS ME BACK HOME
BEST THING ABOUT THIS COLLECTION
“I have always been inspired by gospel music that can meet people where they are. Whether people are at home hanging out with their family on a Friday night or partying with their friends in a club, I want to be able to reach everybody. Growing up, the elders in the church often balked at people dancing to gospel music, especially to songs with a secular feel. But this is my protest to that notion. I grew up on Kirk Franklin and listening to a lot of House Music and hip-hop, and so I have never really fit in or followed those traditional expectations and limitations. That’s probably why I was attracted to playing the drums in church services, because I always loved to catch those Deacons and Deaconesses and Sunday School teachers who told us to keep it traditional bobbing their heads and moving side to side to my beats. I always wanted to find a way to get people out of their seats.” – Lee Hawkins
FOR FANS OF
Andrae Crouch: Because Hawkins is a prolific and productive songwriter and producer, who shows versatility and the ability to work with a wide range of artists with unique styles.
Walter Hawkins: Because Hawkins is skilled at writing and directing commercially viable songs for choirs.
Kirk Franklin: Because Hawkins’ songs convey a similar commercial and modern appeal, and push past the boundaries of the traditional expectations and limitations people often place upon gospel music. He’s a risk taker and someone who tries to appeal to listeners of all ages and backgrounds. This is why his “We’ve Come to Praise Him” music video features dancers from all over the world, and the album’s featured artists are also globally based.
FINAL WORD: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
The best most emotionally moving song is “The Kingdom Come.” People should listen to it, either version, because it offers us all a reminder that for Christians, an earthly death only means that life has begun. It is a powerful and comforting song for anyone who is going through grief and wants to find a way to put their loved ones’ death into clearer perspective.