"I wanna be faithful/I wanna be believable/I wanna be grateful/I wanna really please you Lord." Though those may be the opening words to J. Moss' premiere solo single 'I Wanna," it is also his ministry's mantra. Though there are many artists who are so orthodox that not even the most conservative systematic theologian could spot a speckle of heresy, yet they are so pristinely aloof that they do not rub shoulders with the average kid on the street. Then, there are sold their soul to the mighty dollar that they can sing over moral filth without ever cringing. As a result, these singers become so much like the world that they are of not much value to the Kingdom of God. J. Moss is what he sings about: on one hand, he is "believable." Juggling his street credible hip hop with his nuanced retro new-jack-funk, the music of J. Moss stands shoulder to shoulder to the best of R. Kelly, Robin Thicke and Bruno Mars out there. Yet, on the other hand, he is also "faithful:" even a cursory listen to J. Moss shows that his heart still lies in the church. Never one to shy away from Scriptural truths, J. Moss even incorporates snippets of worship in many of his tunes.
"The Very Best of J. Moss" is as the titular suggests is a retrospective collection with no brand new or unreleased song. At 15 cuts, RCA Inspiration is indeed on their generous side. While some "greatest hits" packages can be like a jig-saw puzzle as to how the songs were chosen and assembled, here perspicuity is the order of the day. Arranged chronologically, this album allows us to traverse through this Gospel artist's career linearly tracing his growth and developments. And with J. Moss' four albums released between the years of 2004 to 2012, four cuts were lifted from three of these albums with only 3 garnered from his sophomore effort "V2."
Before we place some of these songs under the microscope, it is worth while saying a word about J. Moss himself. Born as the sire of Gospel artist Bill Moss, Sr., J. Moss has been singing the Lord's praises since he was a little boy in both his father's band Bill Moss and the Celestials and his cousin's group The Clark Family. When he was older, J. Moss was part of the Moss Brothers and PAJAM, after which he launched his own solo career.
2004 saw the release of his debut record "The J. Moss Project." Bursting off with his adrenaline pumped charisma and his unapologetic Christian stance, "I Wanna" not only was a runaway success but it has become the life song of many fans. Waxing versatility with his lithe falsetto on "Livin 4," J. Moss became the Gospel equivalent of Prince. But J. Moss really captured the hearts of fans with his ballads. "Rebuild" and "Restored" both enlisted from his most personal album to date "Just James" are perfect exemplars of how J. Moss can wrap his soaring tenor among some of the most soul-stirring tunes. Taking the theme of God's sovereignty, listen to "God's Got It" to see how J. Moss breaks it into bite sizes that even a rookie to the faith can swallow. "I ain't gonna worry bout' the money in the bank... /I ain't gonna worry bout' the gas in the tank, I know who supplies my needs/I ain't gonna worry bout' the things I can't control, God's is in control/I ain't gonna worry bout' it, all I do is pray about it, hold up, why?/God's got it..." Thus, if you are looking for an artist who can serve taxi between the church and the streets, J. Moss's got it.