It's easy to keep your eyes on the mainland North American continent, watching the awesome works of
God unfold, and yet being unaware of His work elsewhere. But God is moving hearts everywhere.Producer: Cleve Laing
album release date: May 30, 2000
That's the overwhelming conclusion that proceeds from this massive Gospel work from one of Jamaica's most
well-known and respected names in the music industry.
Check it for yourself. He may be
a new name to Gospel, but anyone who's immersed in Carribean music knows the name of Stitchie (previously known as Lt. Stitchie, and aka Cleve Laing).
Honing his skills in Spanish Town since the early eighties, Stitchie became the first reggae/dancehall artist to be signed to a US label (Atlantic) and has
experienced his fair share of mainstream (secular) success, including Billboard chartings and headling high profile reggae festivals world-wide. His easy-going vibes, his penchant for unbridled stage kicks, his clever and downright funny lyricism and his engaging personality have endeared him to thousands.
With his Gospel debut, Real Power from Lion of Zion Entertainment, "The Governor" (as he is called) continues his legendary feats. The true lyrics are on point, their direction is focused upwards, and Stitchie has lost not a thread of his
energy or ability to put that force into song. His style is reggae-based, but he frequently
moves beyond into a smoother R&P vibe on this mix of studio and live cuts.
That Real Power is stuffed with sunny beats and infectious rhythms
is an understatement. Cuts like "Call Pon Him", "Shopping" and "Do Them No More" simply astound the
feet into dance and bring a joyful bounce.
But "The Governor" also knows how to bring versatility into the jump. Consider "U Give Me Love", the inspired duet with Samantha Gooden. Starting off slowly, by the end of four minutes your attention is riveted by the interplay of the two voices with their mix of textures, the brilliant phrasing and the hooks interspersed with free-style and approachable improvisation.
Stitchie also ventures comfortably into praise & worship, putting out a softer vocal but maintaing his inimitable enthusiasm on cuts such as "Thank You For Today" and "Cup Of Life".
The Glad Tidings Open Bible Angelics lend island choir vocals to "My Rock", which offers up a rolling beat laced with guitar and choir vocals that
lean hard on harmonies.
The Real Power CD comes with enhanced features, including online bible software in four languages, scrolling lyrics for the
songs in English and patois, live video footage of Stitche in the Montreax Jazz
Festival in Switzerland (1999), and
other odds and ends. It's Stitchie's tribute to the missionary who handed him a Bible in Jamaica a few years back, which ultimately lead to his becoming a new person in Jesus Christ.
Stitchie joins a long line of prominent Jamaican artists who have recently turned
to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.
Joining with him in his praise is so easy.
Lion of Zion Entertainment
reviewed by Stan North —
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