Divine Nature
Part of Me

In the world of music, we are always claiming something to be "new", when often what we mean is "new to us". Such is probably the case with Trinity Records latest artist, Divine Nature, as it pertains to both their musical style and the popularity of their group.

As evidenced by the enthusiasm of the crowd on their debut release Part of Me, fans from their native Rochester, NY have been tuned in to them for sometime —or at least long enough to have come to loooooove Reggie, Rob, Avery (Chubb), and Toussaint. Hendrix and Trinity Records President Troy Wright makes it a point to indicate on the liner notes that the crowd response was neither faked nor amplified —the love was, and is, real. So real, that not even 3Divine Nature CD feet of snow could deter the crowd of hundreds from showing up to give Divine a holla' at their live recording.

Why? This brings me to my second point. The revisiting of quartet-styled vocals and harmonies aptly laid over a dead ringer for Mint Condition’s band, complete with new-millennium stylings, make for another solid name on the Trinity roster.

Make no mistake, the tunes (each penned by Divine’s members and refined by the touch of gifted producer Derek Clark), fall into the contemporary category, but somehow manage not to alienate traditional structure or preferences. The title cut, "Part of Me", is a sure standout and is the first single from the album. The ballad begins in a sweet serenade and ends in a down-home church round, structured such that if you changed the bassline drive to double-time, it would take you fast-backward to the quartet days of old. Instead it takes you forward. The glue of the whole thing is definitely the vocals, where tight arrangements provide a backdrop for an always pretty lead-vocal (take your pick amongst the members) to step out and do their thing.

Among the numerous standouts is the uptempo groove “I’ll Go” where stacked harmonies complement the exceptional solo vocals. Another sure hit in this age of Divine Nature CDChristian love songs is “Oh God” where the lead (Rob, Chubb) sings tribute to the woman that God has given him and thanks her for everything from showing him love to cooking his food. It’s not for the deep ones.

Also make sure to check the interlude on track 6 —two minutes and twenty-two seconds of simple vocal exercise by the fellas. "Come Back Home" is my personal favorite where there is an ongoing delicate weaving between the leads and the supporting backgrounds. The keys, so as not to be outdone, fight for front and center. I am not sure who wins —maybe everybody.

You might be shocked by the live recording format on this premiere release. A format usually reserved for seasoned recording artists, live catches it all —in the raw. Thankfully for us, what was captured on Part of Me is wonderful, refreshing and yes —in a comfortable old way, new. You might be shocked, but you won’t be disappointed.

Producers: Divine Nature, Derek Clark, Troy Wright
album release date: September 28, 1999
Trinity Records

— reviewed by Melanie Clark

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