Soul Food

Spiritual Pieces
Soul Food

Soul Food CD The circle has now been completed. Spiritual Pieces gains the distinction of being the first artist to deliver a sophomore project for the Tommy Boy Gospel label. If their debut, Wake Up caused the bleary-eyed to blink twice at the progressive sounds emanating from the group, this follow-up will make folks sit bolt upright and run for their coffee. And their Soul Food.

The group makes the transition from a foursome to a threesome with relative ease, as Terry Bolen, Fatima Lowe and Al 'Lafons combine for a package of alternatively laid-back, hip, jazz-throwback vibes, to house-rattling beat inflections.

And again, the production of Kenny Harris and Dale Harewood make their mark the CD, as they (with Bolen on occasion) make the tracks. Let's take a look at what's on this silver platter:

"Yearning" eloquently describes the emptiness that exists without Christ, echoing an Ecclesiastical theme. "Vanity of vanities" sings Lowe, backed by sprinkles of light keyboard arpeggios. "Tell Them" slows the pace even more, sharing the truth about God's love. Make it three slow cuts with "Holy Spirit", as the 'Pieces' break it down to request His presence.

"Real Love" takes an acoustic piano ride, and directly thanks God for his love. It's typical of what Spiritual Pieces does best: shine through a heavy reliance on vocal expression.

Soul Food CDElsewhere on the project, Spiritual Pieces take a more-beat influenced angle, with some cuts working better than other. "Hey Hey (Believe)" relies on a that retro vibe, with lyrics that the title explains. "Praise On" serves up a house party groove, with a memorable hook —"you can have a party right here tonight, don't worry 'bout nobody, get your praise on."

"Imperfection" starts with some light scatting by Lowe but digs deep as it discusses the spiritual battle that we fight with ourselves —a sermon in song.

There are two interludes in the mix, including "Gospel Café", which features West Coast radio personality Kevin Nash who gives a shoutout to "S.P." and provides an inspirational word.

This album is an honest effort in bringing scriptural relevancy to the fleeting sounds so prevelant on the urban radio dial. No doubt the sound fits. Soul Food.

Producers: Dale Harewood, Kenny Harris, Terry Bolen
album release date: September 17, 2000
Tommy Boy Gospel

— reviewed by GospelFlava.com Staff

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