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Gordon Chambers — Surrender

May 7, 2017

Some album titles are simply clever, some just catchy. Then, there are the titles that carry a message and a motivation behind them that are as heavy as the world itself. Such is the case with latest release from singer/songwriter Gordon Chambers titled Surrender, a soulful album chock full of emotion and conscience.

Having accrued two decades of writing for such legends as Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Angie Stone, and Gladys Knight, as well as recording three great solo efforts of his own, Chambers steps out here on this album with a profound sense of how life can be loaded with game-changers and new directions. “During the last five years of my life, I’ve been truly, truly tested,” he says. Having to weather the passing of five family members and his friend and collaborator, the late great songstress Whiney Houston, he found himself dealing with the weight of sadness and change. While going through the motions of doing everything expected of him (touring, speaking in schools, mentoring songwriters, etc.), he says “I was “crying and struggling with my relevance.”

The impetus for Surrender actually came from new songwriters inspired by his work. “Younger songwriters started to reach out to me to let me hear songs that they had written. Those songs were incredible. I just started recording them for fun, just to see how it felt.” Soon, Chambers had found the source for his own healing, and Surrender was conceived. “When I say surrender, I’m not implying to give up hope. It’s about surrendering to a Higher Power for power and clarity on whatever is happening.” Listen to these tracks, and I think you’ll get where he was heading with this project.

Each track here is belted out with heartfelt emotion in hopes of reaching and inspiring all who listen. When you settle back and take in tracks like the inspirational “I Made It,” the moving “I’ll Never Forget It,” the embracing and reflective “Back to Love” featuring songstress Lalah Hathaway, the revealing “Unconditional’” and the poignant tribute to Whitney Houston entitled “My Way,” you are sure to find yourself succumbing to the pull on your heartstrings.

Not only does Chambers possess top-tier vocal talent, he writes with effect. There are songs here that that begin to sing on their own before the ink has even dried on the music lead sheets. A true gem to have in one’s collection. – Ronald Jackson