Magazine article Ebony

Sounding off. (the Best in Recorded Music)

Magazine article Ebony

Sounding off. (the Best in Recorded Music)

Article excerpt

SHIRLEY CAESAR delivers a great set of uplifting "comfort music" on her new recording, Hymns (Word). She starts the set with a moving arrangement of "Steal Away to Jesus," which features the angelic voice of Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child. She follows that with a stirring take on "Amazing Grace," which features New Destiny. Among the standouts is the poignant "Go Ahead," one of two songs written by the gutsy vocalist. On each of the 11 selections, Pastor Caesar demonstrates why she has won 11 Grammys, 18 Doves and 13 Stellar Awards. No one delivers down-home gospel with the conviction, depth and earthiness of Shirley Caesar.

OLETA ADAMS is back with a feel-good new recording that showcases her beautiful voice as well as her talent as a lyricist. She wrote or co-wrote six of the 12 songs on All the Love (Pioneer). Among them are the percolating, vibrant "Sweet Side of Life," the giving, romantic title song, the imploring "A Bump in the Road," as well as the melancholy "Just Before I Go to Sleep."

On his first album of new music in several years, LENNY KRAVITZ rocks--and sings, writes, plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboards as well as other instruments. Titled Lenny (Virgin), the recording features inspirational and romantic themes on "If I Could Fall in Love," "Believe in Me" and "Stillness of Heart." Lenny's signature rollicking rock-and-roll electrifies "Battlefield of Love" and "Let's Get High." Then there's the rhythmic unifying anthem, "God Save Us All," that is sure to be a favorite. Through it all, Lenny rocks--and keeps the mind, body and heart pumping.

The young women of ALLURE (Akissa, Alia, Hem-Lee and Lalisha) strut their talent on their new recording, Sunny Days (MCA). There are harmonious, body-moving dance tunes such as "Bump," "Kool Wit Me," and the title song, but there are also the defiant "Wore Out Your Welcome," pretty ballads such as "Never Let You Go," and the somber "Can't Live Without You. …

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