Between The Sheets
No longer with the Pulse Records, the versatile Chris Byrd launches his own
record label with an
absolutely intriguing solo project, gingerly subtitled, Between The Sheets.
Targeted exclusively to Christian married couples, the CD features
Gospel's first parental advisory label on the front cover ('for married couples only'). Producer: Chris Byrd
album release date: February, 2000
Make no mistake, this is not a Gospelized Isley Brothers knock-off.
On the other hand, you would be so wrong to assume this to be another version of
TD Jakes' ground-breaking
Sacred Love Songs project. Truly, this 13-track
set belongs in a league set apart.
Introduced by a hilarious (real?) dramatic interlude where we eavesdrop on a meeting of a church's "The Married Men Club"
(where the members discuss what kind of music they play during those intimate times with their wives),
Byrd leaves no doubt that this is music for the saints. What follows are cuts that range from the tender to
the intense, much of them set to smoldering slow grooves. Lyrics are never raw,
but neither are they afraid to be real with words. In the context of fidelity, marriage,
honor, love and respect, it's a true reflection of what's found in the Song of Solomon.
Some titles include "Wild Side", "Dance With Me" and "Celebrate Our Love". There's also spoken word poetry set over
soft track, entitled "Poetic Song of Solomon". Byrd and his wife, Bridgette, takes the scriptural
lines of "The Man" and "The Woman".
On the musical tip, there's nothing but excellence. Byrd provides lead and backing vocals, as well as programmed tracks for the lion's share of the project,
bringing in Brian Hurst to co-vocalize on occasion. Robbie Lyle easily
sets the candlelight mood with guitar.
No doubt, this project will be snapped up by those married couples who have always felt a little uncomfortable relying
on their tucked-away CDs of Alexander O'Neal or Luther Vandross for those certain occasions. Between The Sheets
provides the same vibe, minus the
seductive tone and off connotations that equivalent-sounding mainstream projects
inevitably bring to the mix.
Gospel hasn't seen anything like this. As the
first volume in a series which Byrd titles From Chris
Byrd's Collection of: Songs In The Key of Love, it looks like it won't be the
last. It's a no-brainer that it's bound to generate heated
controversy in some church quarters.
With physical love between husband and wife in
a Godly context being such a rarely discussed topic, perhaps that's
a good thing!
Minstrel House Music Group
reviewed by Stan North —
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