Donn Thomas

Live Wire

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Female backing vocalists and a poppin' bassline carries "Live Wire," which attempts to rouse but lacks substance. Donn Thomas leads the charge on "God's Love (Is What the World Needs)," a dentigerous ballad with meaningful lyrics. An elaborate string arrangement initially overpowers "Not Now Doesn't Mean Never," but it settles into a nice floater with cooing female backing voices. The upbeat "Walking With My Father," composed by Charles Williams, is the only selection Thomas didn't write; it's the obvious choice for heavy rotation on gospel radio. Ditto for "Oh My Livin' Brother" and its rapid-fire chorus, as well as "Soul'd Out." Producer/arranger David Diggs wasn't big on handclaps and tambourine shakes -- both are sorely missed and would have enhanced the uptempo tunes. "A Shield About Me" and "Can't Make It Without You Lord" are beautiful ballads where Thomas elaborates on his sincere love of God. The ten songs include a rousing reprise of "Soul'd Out." Lovers of more dramatic gospel music might find this offering a bit too laid-back, but it contains some good songs.