Rating: 4 stars
Producer: Brad Hudson
Label: Independent release
Song list: “Sing,” “Highway To Heaven,” “I Know Too Much About Him,” “You Were There,” “Wait On The Lord,” “I Am Redeemed,” “I Have Come By The Way Of The Cross,” “Got Me Some Joy/I Didn’t Think It Could Be,” “Hosanna,” “Come To Me,” and “Oh Holy Night.”
When most Southern Gospel fans hear the name “The Greenes,” there’s usually one of two faces and voices that instantly come to mind: Tony Greene, or his wife, TaRanda. Although TaRanda has not been in the group for it’s entire history, she has made quite a name for herself with her vocal range and ability. Her latest solo project, In The Sanctuary, really showcases that voice.
The first two tracks, “Sing” and “Highway To Heaven,” lean toward to the jazzy, upbeat side of the musical spectrum. TaRanda’s soulful vocals help to drive the songs, and get this project off to a great start. Things then slow down for the third track, “I Know Too Much About Him.” Color me peculiar, but this song hasn’t grown on me yet. It is indeed a pretty song, and the message is made very clear, but the melody seems disjointed and crammed, as if there were too many lyrics written for the song.
An acoustic guitar opens the next ballad, “You Were There,” which I felt was a better musical choice than the previous track. Greene’s vocals are soft and understated for most of the song, until the powerful ending in which she kicks it up a notch. The tempo picks back up for “Wait On The Lord,” and with it returns the soulful sound that the first two tracks featured. The first single from the recording, “I Am Redeemed,” has a black gospel feel to it, complete with a choir. Tony Greene takes the spot as guest vocalist here. The next three tracks alternate from slow, to upbeat, to low tempo again, the highlight being the cover of the Praise & Worship song “Hosanna.” “Come To Me” features a duet between TaRanda and her young daughter, Isabella, at the end. The project closes with Greene’s iconic arrangement of “Oh Holy Night.”
Bottom line: Fans of TaRanda’s voice will find plenty to love with this project, as it is a great showcase of what she can do vocally.