Various Artists College Survivor
They’ve called it College Survivor. There’s two ways you can interpret the name of this new compilation from EMI Gospel.
album release date: August 28, 2001
Urban oriented and chock full of edgy jams and bouncy gems, this set is intended to keep long-suffering college students awake, aware and energized.
- Your musical equivalent to food essentials the anointed sounds you need to survive the stress of school
- It’s hard to vote even one of these songs off of the ‘CD Island’
Highlighting the album are two cuts in particular, new music from Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale, and an early jump on the upcoming solo project from neo-soul sensation LeJuene Thompson.
Riley and her Toronto-based choir return to the scene with “99 Degrees”, a smoking urban ride that gets the full PAJAM treatment. J. Moss’ distinctive rap pulls you in from the opening bars before Riley lets loose with her jazz-rich and soul-laden vocals, as the track bangs and jams overtop. The song defiantly speaks of our resilience in Jesus Christ, our ability to withstand the heat knowing that we are His.
On “Born Again”, LeJuene Thompson offers up a terrific soul school pearl with altar call words, backed by guitar from Fred McCain and multi-instruments and production from Cedric Thompson. LeJuene has consistently been on vocal point for years, with groups ranging from John P. Kee’s New Life Community Choir to Donald Lawrence’s TriCity Singers. Judging from the quality of this cut alone, it’s evidently her due season.
The remaining eight songs on this compilation consist of previously released material, including another J. Moss collaboration, this time with Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise on “Can’t Nobody Tell It”.
Montrel Darrett, Londa Larmond and Darwin Hobbs contribute soulful numbers, and Brent Jones & The T.P. Mobb bring home their clever parable hit, “Sindy”.
Rounding out the collection are urban cuts from three artists that may whet your appetite for more of their material: Out of Eden with a “Rock Soul Remix” of “Spirit”, Stacie Orrico with “O.O. Baby” and The Katinas with the pop/soul sounds of “Believe”.
This project is sure to draw spotlights on college campuses, and is a ‘must include’ for anyone assembling a student care package.
reviewed by Stan North —
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