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4th Elemynt - In Stores Now

4th Elemynt
Elemyntal

The MSS tide is coming in.

4th Elemynt is the latest entity to come from the Tonéx's artist empire, and with the full power of his artistic and production finesse behind it, their debut, Elemyntal brings the Nureau Gospel sound to the fore with the debut of 4th Elemynt.

ElemyntalComprised of DaWann Davis, Michael Sanchez, Jesse Davis and Eddie Cole, they bring their West coast vibe to the exploding urban Gospel landscape by way of melody-riddled street grooves and tight harmonies backed by smart, heavily-geared production and straight lyrics.

The album features loads of production from T.Boy and 5'0, with Tonéx also having a hand in nearly all the songwriting. If you want to sum it, the project hits hard in a jeepy, West coast style that hasn't been much explored in Gospel till now. Rap elements are minimal, with an emphasis instead on the tight vocal stylings of the group.

Reality Odio

Reality Odio is the first artist from MSS Records, and offers up a stark, hip-hopMind Over Matter CD project serious in tone.

Call him a 'new mill' prophet in the pattern and lineage of the Old Testament notables. See full review.

One of the lead cuts is "Ears/Eyes", which focusses on God's certain blessings for those who are His, with the hook, "ears have never heard, eyes have never seen, the things that God has prepared for you or me". Stacked vocals and close harmonies deliver that line, occasionally bringing in an occassional soulful solo voice from Eddie and DaWann. The song appears twice more on the project, once as a short acappella interlude, and another time as an "east coast alternative mix", which features a cameo rap appearance from 4th Elemynt's label-mate, Reality Odio (see sidebar).

"Things Change" is distinctive on Elemyntal, as its free-style poetic jazz style sets it apart. Sparse in production, strong rhythmic elements travel underneath cafe flow poetry from guest Vickie Garcia, supplemented by additional vocals from Levi Wheeler and ACW2 (Tonéx). This one is true poetry, reflective of the style of Proverbs or Ecclesiastes.

Interview

"We're very different from even contemporary4th Elemynt Gospel. Real urban, real street, real melodious, our harmonies are really tight. A lot of people describe as the Dru Hill of Gospel music. We just take that and roll with it...."

—DaWann Davis, 4th Elemynt

See full interview.

Hard-hitting subject matters are not avoided by the group. On the contrary, 4th Elemynt seem to relish the opportunity to tackle mature themes such as pre-marital sex temptation ("4NiK8", "I Wanna Love You").

Praise ballads also find their place on this project, and are something that 4th Elemynt handle well. At times, their sound on these types of cuts ("It's My Turn", "Callin' Your Name") bring back memories of the group Lamore (who showed much promise with their GospoCentric debut in 1995, but have since disappeared from the Gospel scene.)

Elementyal is a showcase album of sorts, and deserves attention. With the hype surrounding the various elements included in the project, it will probably get it.





Producers: T.Boy, 5'0, Bradley Walker, Eddie Cole
album release date: May 9, 2000
MSS / Tommy Boy Gospel / Verity


reviewed by Stan North



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