Real Power

It's easy to keep your eyes on the mainland North American continent, watching the awesome works of God unfold, and yet being unaware of His work elsewhere. But God is moving hearts everywhere.

That's the overwhelming conclusion that proceeds from this massive Gospel work from one of Jamaica's most well-known and respected names in the music industry. Check it for yourself. He may be a new name to you, but anyone who's immersed in Carribean music knows the name of Lt. Stitchie. As winner of ..... The lyrics are on point, and the direction is upwards, and Stitchie has lost not a thread of his energy or ability to put that force into song. That Real Power is stuffed with sunny beats and infectious rhythms is an understatement. Softer, putting out a softer vocal on.... "Thank You For Today" Stitchie joins the long line of Jamaican artists who have recently come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. Anyone who's Look the move of God William Becton has always put a fine point on relevant relationship issues on his projects. With B2K: Prophetic Songs of Promise, that theme is evident again.

On the DC-based producer/songwriter’s third project, he zeros in on our personal relationships B2K:  Prophetic Songs of Promisewith Jesus Christ. The theme of 'confessing the vast promises that God has given to us' appears throughout the 14 tracks. Sizzling a combination of urban and jazz on the disc, and moving between smooth glides and jarring bumps, Becton whips up a producer’s delight with his select crew of vocalist friends (see interview).

Like ice bobbing to the surface of a Pepsi, some of the songs on the project get in your face the instant you savor the project. The remake of the Isley Brothers’ "Harvest For The World" is one of those cuts. With Derrick Speight and Rita Becton handling the Gospel-transformed vocals, Becton gives the familiar melody a smoothed-out feel, laid over a tight rhythmic bounce.

The old-school theme continues in another vein, as former Temptation lead vocalist, Ali Woodson is recruited for a couple of cuts. With his gravelled vocals and seasoned dynamics, Woodson hits hard on "Still Encouraged", where he recounts the personal blessings he received when he first heard Becton's massive hit "Be Encouraged" from his 1995 Intersound debut. Woodson also contributes on "In Him", where he lays phat vocal tracks alongside the Becton crew, all resting on a lush bed of real (non-synthesized) strings.

B2K's DC Contributors

Stephen Hurd contributes voice characterizations on the "Grandma's Bye And Bye" interlude (see album review for Stephen Hurd & Corporate Worship)

Rev. Marvin McCoy collaborates on songwriting for "He's In The Midst of It All" (see album review for Veda McCoy).
Vocal ad-libbing is in prominence on B2K, as lead vocalists are given free reign to spin out of the expected melodic approach. "Bigger" is good example of this, as the song enters suddenly with a infectious groove, speaking to the supremacy of God over every situation —He's bigger than any experience you may be facing in life. With his usual trademark flair, Becton also frequently enters the ad-lib fray, sometimes with vocals, sometimes with the voicebox. It makes for a tapestry of complex sound, with multiple voices and effects constantly weaving in and out.

Ears will perk to the hype sounds of "No Good Thing", which is a fascinating merger of old-time vocals and organ with a bumpin' track, satisfying chord progressions and a resounding bass line. The cut comes with an album-ending version that was recorded live at the 1999 GMWA in New Orleans.

Credit Becton for continuity and consistency, as he maintains his familiar DC vibe while spinning out a highly credible, today-sounding project.

Producer: William Becton
album release date: April 18, 2000
CGI / Platinum

— reviewed by Stan North

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