Gospel music from the Carribean is becoming increasingly popular, not only in the West Indies, but everywhere that sunny rhythms, lazy back beats, fresh vocals and intensity of Jesus-focused lyrics is appreciated.
Gospel music's bumpin' and the place is on fire….
Long a mainstay on the secular reggae recording circuit, Franklyn's voice was heard in many a hit from artists that include Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man and Spragga Benz. Following her 1998 conversion and acceptance of Jesus Christ, Gospel heard her on Papa San's B-Rite debut from 1999 (see album review), providing strong contempory vocals on the song "Touch From You".
On Joy, Franklyn teams up with producer heavy-weight Danny Browne, delivering fourteen strong tracks that run the gamut from praise and worship to R&P to hip-hop. But it's on the numerous authentic dancehall cuts that Franklin truly shows her strength.
Soak up the sounds of "Magnify His Name", where Franklyn sails her soulful vocals backed by layered harmonies over relentless waves of rhythm. Nod to "I've Got The Glow", a more intense number characterized by short, crisp and highly-rhymed vocal lines and set to a very bumpy track. And find a jeep for the hip hop pulsations of "Nottin' But Love", in wihch Franklin professes her love for Jesus.
The culmination, lyrically and musically, has got to be "Another Saturday Night". Franklyn addresses the pull of wanting to join her friends from 'the old life' going out to party, but resisting the temptation, despite 'hearing the beat of the drums'. Testifying to the spiritual warfare involved and relying on praising Jesus Christ, the song is set a percolating dancehall rhythm and features some of the catchiest hooks you'd ever want to hear.
The notable guest appearance on Joy comes from The Prodigal Son on "Here Comes The Train". Cleverly introduced with harmonized "choo-choo" effects, Franklyn lays the smooth vocal foundation over chug-chug train rhythm effects before Prodigal interjects with his deep dee-jay style.
This is a wonderful Gospel debut for Chevelle Franklyn. Never straying from her patented style that brought her previous acclaim, she succeeds in demonstrating the joy she has found in her new faith in Jesus Christ.
Main St. Music
— reviewed by Stan North —
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