Men of Standard
Feels Like Rain

Before you open Men Of Standard's new project Feels Like Rain, you suspect that it is radically diffferent from their self-titled debut.

Gone are the church-boy suits, replaced by gear from Hilfiger, FUBU, DKNY and Timberland boots. Your suspicions seem to be confirmed after listening to the album's first song "Nothing Like Heaven." The cut's strong bass line and quality production show that the quartet is as talented as Boyz II Men and primed and ready for the crossover radio success of artists such as Kirk Franklin and Trin-I-Tee 5:7.

Leading Men of Standard in this contemporary charge is producer J. Moss (Karen Clark-Sheard, Greg O'Quin, Dawkins and Dawkins). Moss continues to draw comparisons to Sean "Puffy" Combs and sow seeds of anticipation for his upcoming solo release by appearing as a rapper on several of the album's cuts and as a vocalist on the title cut.

Also assisting Men Of Standard in the producer's chair are Fred Hammond, who takes the group down the urban praise and worship route with "Lord You're Everything" and digs up his Commissioned roots for "My Love For You Will Go On," and Detroiter Marcus Devine who worked on Salt Of The Earth's debut release and has done work with the Deitrick Haddon camp.

Despite the urban edge of Feels Like Rain, the project remains consistent with the group's 1996 debut by keeping the spotlight on the voices.

Men of Standard's knack of smooth seamless harmony as well as their individual vocal talents never get lost in the music track, even on the funky "Victory's Mine." Other stand out cuts include "God Take Care Of Me" and the Kayla Parker - penned "Coming Home."

Feels Like Rain takes Men of Standard where their voices show they belong —on the forefront of the urban gospel movement.

Producers: Various
Muscle Shoals Sound Gospel

reviewed by Mark Christian Tilles

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