Michael and Regina Winans aren't exactly strangers to Gospel. Michael is a member
of the The Winans, and Regina has made her mark over the years as a
songwriter for various backing vocal contributions to her famous in-law
family.Producers: Michael and Regina Winans, Dana Davis
album release date: September 12, 2000
Now with Always Together, the husband and wife team draw on their
musical gifts to debut with an introspective, family-themed Gospel project
that rests heavily on balladry and urban pop.
Thirteen tracks strong, the emphasis of this project is very definitely
on the duet, with Michael and Regina trading seasoned vocals throughout.
But don't think that they don't tap into the vast Winans network of
family and friends!
While always appearing in the background, you
can still find Carvin Winans, Kayla Parker and Debbie Winans lending
vocal support, and of course Winans Phase 2's Michael Winans Jr.
(their son) and daughter LaShay Winans make their presence
felt as well.
Put a star beside "Heavenbound", a bouncy, harmony-laden number
with that trademark Winans vibe that looks towards the time when
the crowns are given out up yonder. The infectious hook of "I've
Got You" also puts it into that category, with Kayla Parker's backing
vocals and arrangements combined with Gospel guitarist Tim Bowman's
finesse pushing the God-centred lyrics into the land of favorites.
Bowman appears on several other cuts on this MCG Records project, as does
renowned jazz guitar master Earl Klugh. Also, look for D'Aundre
Thomas on bass, Marcus Abernathy on piano,
Earl J. Wright on
organ all players with considerable contributions to Winans'
albums over the years. Charles Veal Jr. and the South Central
Chamber Orchestra bring in their orchestral Gospel expertise with
sweet string arrangements from Benjamin F. Wright.
There's lots here to sit back and chill to, too many examples to mention. But it would be remiss not to
bring light to the sanctified life that the couple brings to John Lennon's "Grow Old
With Me (God Bless Our Love)" and the marital and family devotional
celebration of "Love Will Be".
The Winans legacy continues to impact Gospel, and Always Remember
makes the mark as yet another must-add disk to complete your collection.
reviewed by Stan North —
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