Trin-i-tee 5:7 According to Chanel
After 17 years, seven chart-topping studio projects and over a million records sold with Trin-i-Tee 5:7, Haynes carefully adjusts to life in the driver's seat, writing eleven of the twelve songs while sharing producer duties with Darien Dorsey and PJ Morton. The disc succeeds in remaining true to the urban sound of Trin-i-tee 5:7 while Haynes takes time to pay homage to her musical influences.
She offers her own disclaimer of sorts as to the music found on this CD, indicating that the songs come from memorable life experiences. She did not want to get bogged down with lengthy song titles, so each song has a one word title so that the concentration can be on the most important parts, the lyrics and the music.
PJ Morton captures the essence and fragrance of Chanel (no pun intended) and the oil flows on "Repay", a song that takes a retrospective look from a grateful and humble heart ("I often fall down, I'm so imperfect, but you still love me, when I feel I'm not worthy") to thank God for his grace and mercy shown through the course of life ("it could have been me, dead and gone, but you never left me all alone and I'll never be able to repay you for all you've done").
Haynes grew up surrounded by the music of Andrae and Sandra Crouch and The Hawkins Family; she pens "Believe" in tribute. We also hear the influence of Ann Nesby on the cut "He", which is all about Jesus and is "something for the grandmas". Inspired by the soul of Al Green and Aretha Franklin, the organ and syncopated hand claps makes it down-home, southern-style churchy.
"Yeah", a conversation between God and the believer, has a groove that you can't get out of your head even after the song has finished. "Friends" is a fitting tribute to the power of true friendship and is lovingly constructed as a mirror reflecting the bond between the members of Trin-i-Tee 5:7. Pound for pound, Chanel Haynes solo debut weighs in the heavyweight class and we have another winner.
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— review by Gregory Gay —
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