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Oscar Hayes and Abundant Life Fellowship
Another Level

Sometimes IOscar Hayes album find myself humming a line from a catchy song from years past, which often makes me to wonder what became of the artist who sang that tune. For example, when Tyscot Records released the 2-CD compilation Tyscot Top 20, Vol. 1 to celebrate their various artists over the years, I found myself grabbed again by the irresistable "None But the Righteous", and then wondering what happened to Oscar Hayes and the Abundant Life Fellowship (ALF) since their recording activity in the early nineties.

Along comes this new album on the Charisma Music Group. Hayes and crew demonstrate that they still have what it takes, only now appropriately adapted to 1998 beats. Case in point is the driving opening track, "Fly Away", in which featured hiphop artist Bombshell adds to the vocal drama provided by the ALF choir. Also making an impression is the cut "Keepin' On" which features the subtle yet impacting vocal exhortation of Oscar Hayes on top of a slammin' urban hiphop -influenced, funkicized instrumental jam, which Hayes refers to as "ghetto gospel".

The traditional side of this small Detroit-based group is also expressed in this project, with a particularly strong example in the popular classic, "I Love to Praise His Name". Hayes and ALF simply march this one straight up the Sunday church aisle. I whole-heartedly agree with the choice of album title, for this project is definitely Oscar Hayes at another level.

Producer: Oscar A. Hayes
Charisma Music Group

reviewed by Stan North


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