A friend in DC is always saying how if Gospel artists are going to sample, then they should consider mining the wealth of worthy Gospel material.Producers: T.Boy, 5'0, Shelley Gaines
album release date: July 18, 2000
To that end, Shelley Gaines’ debut on MSS Records / Tommy Boy Gospel will generate a smile in Washington.
Inventive sampling and a combo of the soft and the hype is the hallmark
of The Gift, and that can be seen most spectacularly on the album’s final cut, “Saved (54th & University Mix)”. It’s juicy phat remix of the smooth regular mix which takes its place on track 2. Just when you think this is another one of those remixes that you can hardly distinguish from the original, in comes the fun stuff. Sista Divine and 5’0 toss ample rap flows set to a genius incorporated looped sample of The Clark Sisters’ “Ha-Ya (Eternal Life)”.
These days that nureau sound pops up in more places than you can keep track of now, and faster than you can say 5'0. Other cases here are "Unhooked" (on
the year's most popular theme freedom from spiritual bondage) with its blaze of studio production off the top combined with Earth, Wind & Fire sampling. Also, there's "The Real One" with T.Boy taking his producer's license to commentate and encourage on
this track that testifys that God is the True Friend.
Also of note on this artist debut is the free-flowing big band jazz cut "Do You Know Him?", with brassy wails and frequent scat vocal detours.
Gaines can be heard at her alto smoothest on “Cast Your Cares”, where she takes a soulful ride into the land of simmering balladry, with a power of lyric. Also in that land is the dreamy "Deeper", cooled with splashes of acoustic guitar sounds. The song says "deeper than the ocean, wider than the sea, flowing like a river, steady like a stream, stronger than a hurricane, His loving arms around me..."
As a childhood friend of Tonéx, it’s no surprise that Gaines finds herself in vocal and production co-operation with her San Deigo compatriot, with her wide and colorful vocal palette and T.Boy and 5’0’s production flairs naturally meshing.
With all the nureau adventure contained in the The Gift, surely the smiles will be spread a lot further than the capitol city.
Tommy Boy Gospel / MSS Records
reviewed by Stan North —
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