Natalie Wilson & S.O.P.

Natalie Wilson & S.O.P. Chorale
The Good Life

Natalie Wilson and The S.O.P. Chorale are back with their second Gospo Centric release, and deliver an album full of assorted delights. It's The Good Life!

siteKnown for their sure-fire hip-hop styled Gospel songs and beautiful ballads, Wilson (see interview) and crew don't stray away, but also bring more worship songs and a little dancehall heat to their repertoire. Ably handling the lion's share of the production duties on the project is Joe "Flip" Wilson.

Darkchild (Rodney Jerkins) stopped by on Girl Director (see album review), and does so again here, producing and rapping on the title cut. Cleverly mixing meshing his signature futuristic synth rhythms, midtempo beats and Biggie-esque flows with S.O.P.'s crisp vocals and Natalie's alto lead, he helps make this a huge jam for urban radio.

There is much proclamation on The Good Life, evident on the uptempo "Free" and the dancehall-tinged, "Conquerors". On the latter cut, Wilson and choir declare victory over Satan and sin over a hot Flip track, while Papa San steps in to provide that patented tongue-tripping heat that only he can bring. The song motivates you to dance and reassures us of our confidence in Christ.

As a woman who has experienced her fair share of trials, Natalie Wilson writes the heartfelt "Peace and Tranquility" and the worshipful "Healing and Rest" with credibility. S.O.P.
The Good Life
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vocalists step to the forefront as Tamika Marshall and Steven Walker join with Wilson to lay smooth leads over Joe Wilson's mellow track and live instrumentation that includes Melvin Smith's light guitar riffs. S.O.P. showcase their standout vocals.

James Moore Jr. steps in to lead on the Andrae Crouch penned, "There's No Hatred". The original girl director addresses this song to musicians, Gospel artists and ministers of music, urging them to stop and realize that there is no hatred or jealousy in Christ. Moore, Jr. croons his way through this delightful ballad while S.O.P. soothe with soft harmonies and great vocal textures.

"Liquid Prayers" showcases the stellar musical arrangements of Joe Wilson, the solid vocals of S.O.P., the underrated vocals of Natalie Wilson and some wonderfully encouraging songwriting. The song assures God's people that even during times of brokenness, God understands those tearful prayers.

Other gems on the album are the bass guitar heavy, "People" and the definitive anthem, "S.O.P. Party".

Frankly, The Good Life is an amazing album. With so many wonderful songs, Natalie Wilson and crew outdo themselves with a versatile mix of urban, worship and some good choir ballads.

Producers: Various
album release date: October 21, 2003
GospoCentric Records

reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

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