7 is the Number of Perfection
[Originally posted on Amazon.com, December 13, 2006]
Deitrick Haddon seems to be on a roll musically and artistically these days. I’m not an ardent fan of his music, but I thoroughly enjoy his current offerings, which usually seem to gravitate toward trendy R&B with a gospel twist. From Live the Life to Crossroads, he has been dubbed the “Michael Jackson” of gospel who showcases his ability to redeem the secular for God’s glory. 7 Days sits on the far end of Haddon’s continuum of seamlessly blending gospel and R&B.
“Taxi Interlude” describes Haddon’s musical mission best. Through the dialogue of a church-goer who listens to everything but gospel music and his friend who challenges him to listen to a “bangin’ gospel record,” Haddon sets out to prove that good music is good music, no matter the genre.
Every song on 7 Days is well-crafted and sung with clarity and earnest, effortlessly woven together by thoughtful lyrics and excellent production. “Count Your Blessings” is fun and energetic while reminding us to always be grateful for what God had given. “Don’t Go” contains a piano sample from DeBarge’s “Stay With Me” (made popular by Notorious B.I.G.’s “One More Chance (Remix)” and Ashanti’s “Foolish”), yet Haddon craftily uses the sample to convey the message of reconciliation between God and a prodigal child. Jodeci-sounding “I’m the One” emphasizes God’s provision of rest to the weary.
Haddon even treads on political soil with the traditional-flavored “Heaven Knows,” as he champions the social gospel: “The homeless are still homeless, the poor are still poor/ Yet we find billions of dollars to fund senseless wars/ And yes, we’re fighting terrorism, what about the quiet racism?/Divided among ourselves, somebody’s crying for help/ Heaven is listening, heaven is watching, heaven knows.”
With gospel’s “it boy” Tonéx on indefinite hiatus, Haddon continues to carry the torch of contemporary gospel, showing us that good music knows no bounds.