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Kelli Williams
In The Myx (Of Your Will)

When in space of one project you switch from working with Walter Hawkins to working with Tonéx, you know you're talking transition. Already tackling her third project at the Kelli Williams CDage of 21, Kelli Williams hardly needs to break out of any kind of rut. But just in case...

As expected with any Tonéx-related project (his enigmatic alias' T.Boy as well as 5.0 produce; Tonéx also writes much of the material), there's a whole lot to sink your teeth into here.

The chewing begins with the first cut. Bringing back Tramaine Hawkins' major crossover Gospel hit from the 80's, "Fall Down 2000" elegantly references the original's disco roots by retaining the ol' skool feel of beats, but also modernizes with its "today" production feel. (That's why that '2000' is tacked on the title!)

Also in the new millenium sound camp is the title cut, "In The Myx", taking its theme from the project's motto: "If you are bold in your walk with Him, and you are bold in your talk of Him, then you are 'in the myx' of His will". Production effects here combine soaring background-echo type vocals with Kelli's soft forefront lead.

On the lyrically related cut "Remyx Me", things get a little bit wild, with an urban-alternative, funky distort sound taking over. Is that Kelli doing those wailing, distorted, Alanis Morrisette-style vocals? Yes it is.

Bionic Y2Kelli"Bionic Y2Kelli" is an straight-up urban future-jam with Tonéx offering background ad libby comments. The song says, "Jesus made me bionic to fight demonic principalities" and "I'm under construction, because God's not through with me yet".

"Over and Over" is beat-driven ride that equally features both Kelli and Tonéx on vocals, generating a sunny shine of a tune, with hip-hop added. "Bustin' Loose" is equally sunny —a summer vibe, heavily dosed with sampled programs and stacked vocal harmonies. Note to DJs: this cut will nicely mesh with Mary Mary's "Shackles" in theme.

The other angle to In The Remyx (Of Your Will) is the number of slower, R&P cuts —you know, the ones we're used to hearing from Kelli! On the top of that list is "Temple". Immersed in a mix of melodic piano, the song showcases her talent for soft vocal expressiveness, as she prays (with the gentlest of vocoder tinges) her desire to be a living sacrifice. "Crazy For You" casts a dreamy light in its airy and modern worship and adoration.

The jury is out on how the reception this project will get, or who it will most appeal to. Kelli Williams' fans will certainly enjoy hearing her progressive side in addition to her continuing gift for balladry. And fans of Tonéx's Nureau style will get another addition for their growing collections.


Producers: T.Boy, 5.0
album release date: July 4, 2000
Myrrh Black Music


reviewed by Stan North



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