REVIEW: MEMOIRS OF A WORSHIPPER – BYRON CAGE
Reviewed by Brent Faulkner
Grammy award-nominated gospel singer/songwriter Byron Cage has a rich musical background; he began to to play organ and piano at a young age. Later, he would serve the capacity of music minister to Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Ft. Washington, MD for 15 years, amongst numerous other accomplishments.
On his ninth album Memoirs of a Worshipper, produced by Aaron Lindsey (Marvin Sapp producer amongst others), Cage recorded live at Chicago’s Christ Universal Temple. On this new effort, Cage hopes to place emphasis on a deeper relationship with God.
On opener “Gratitude,” Cage opts for balladry as opposed to an uptempo, driving opener. Cage handles the lead vocals initially, accompanied by piano and dashes of cymbal. Eventually, female lead Mumen Ngenge takes over, giving the cut a different sound.
The two work in tandem powerfully, supported by subtle “oohs” from the choir. With a propelling key change, the cut and the choir ‘opens up’ pushing “Gratitude” over-the-top in superb fashion.
“Out of Them All,” penned by Cage and Lindsey, finds the tempo quicker, contrasting the grinding “Gratitude.” Cage initiates lead vocals, only to relinquish them to the choir as he ad libs, encourages, and ministers. Angularity proves to be a strong suit, particularly as the choir vamps on lyrics “…He Can, He Will Deliver.”