- Released: September 21, 1999
- Label: Elektra / WEA
- 1.Time to Change
- 3.Fragile Heart
- 4.That Name
- 5.In the Midst of It All
- 6.The Things We Do
- 7.Open My Heart
- 8.Wherever You Are
- 9.He'll Arrive (Coming Back)
- 10.Continual Praise
- 11.Already Alright
Personnel includes: Yolanda Adams, Kelly Price (vocals); Ron Huff (conductor); Warryn "Smiley" Campbell, Buster, Shavoni, Kevin Bond, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis (various instruments); Bruce Gaitsch (acoustic guitar); Dave Forman, Mike Scott (guitar); Ricky Grundy, The Nashville String Machine (strings); Tim Carmon (piano); Keith Thomas (keyboards, bass, drum, programming); Stokely (drums, percussion); Jeremy Haynes (drums); Mark Hammond (drum programming); Mary Mary, Victoria Purcell, Vanessa Williams, Raymond Reeder, Richard Smallwood, Vision, Debbie Wynans, Marva King (background vocals); Bryant Pugh, Darrin Atwater, Anthony Lyons, Mark Walker, Roger Ryan.
Producers include: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Richard Smallwood, Fred Hammond, Warren Campbell.
Engineers include: Anthony "A.J." Jeffries, Buster, Shavoni.
MOUNTAIN HIGH...VALLEY LOW won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.
'90s gospel phenomenon Adams' major-label debut is about as high-gloss as it gets--the great production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis is all over it--and if you weren't paying careful attention, you might not even notice that it was religiously themed; the opening "Time to Change," for example, with its lyrics about "a woman from down the street…tryin' to get the attention of a married man" sounds more like hip-hop social realism than a paean to the Lord.
It's not long before the listener gets the message, though; by the time "That Name" comes up, a massive production number that goes from a placid piano/strings intro to a mass choir blow-out with Adams' sultry alto soaring serenely above the din, you know there's some serious testifying going on here. The bottom line is that while the album's mix of gospel, hip-hop, and soul is designed for maximum cross-over appeal, it undeniably works, and has the capacity to strike even the secular as uplifting; in fact, you'd have to be pretty cold not to be moved by "The Things We Do," a hymn of praise complete with samples from JFK's inaugural address and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.