Kindred 3

Kindred 3California-based Kindred 3 surprises by discarding the tired, cookie-cutter mould used by many ‘boy bands’.

Refreshingly, they stamp out some really solid faith-grooves with invigoratingly tight harmonies.

Consisting of three guys, from various multi-blends of Latino, Caucasian and Black cultures, Shone, Wenché and Lamar (they go by first name only) bring it all together in a sublime mix of ten songs that soothe and strengthen with clear statements of faith in Jesus Christ. Each member delivers their vocals with good control and good contrast of texture. Great tracking also generates head nod.

Production guidance comes from several sources, including rhythms specialist Dan Needham (CeCe Winans, Anointed, Israel) who fashions the opening cut “Away” into a complex composite of ticking, sunny guitars and intricate beats, supporting a festival of close harmony from Kindred 3 on the topic of love.

Needham also pilots “Sacred Rhythms”, another jammy latin number, this one inspirational-themed and filled with guitar, frequent Spanish lyrical asides from Wenché and classic salsa sounds.

Kindred 3 CDPop-soul specialist Michael-Anthony Taylor (aka Mookie) drops bombs on “Let’s Go” and “I Know That You Know”; Kindred 3 shines amidst heavily-produced tracks. The vocal vibe is smooth on “Let’s Go”, as holy party bounce is encouraged. “I Know” relies more on techno.

The group also delivers balladry. That's the basis of “Wherever You Are”, “I Belong To Thee”, and “I’ve Decided”. The latter two songs are penned by the group. Swelling strings and piano amidst beats lift the songs to heights as the three confess their faith in Jesus Christ. “I Belong To You” brings in a stylized song-rap to distinguish it, and the Elfante brothers step in to finesse the vocal sound.

The appeal to this project —and what distinguishes them from similar-styled groups recently out —is the degree of success they have in marrying straight up lyrics together with inventive, urban pop grooves that sizzle with latin flava.

Far more than mere voices to be used at a producer’s whim, Kindred 3 are musical entities in their own right.

Producers: Various
original album release date: October, 2001
Red Hill Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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