All I ever really wanted to do was sing. I’ve always wanted to inspire my peers in the industry to a new level of musical consciousness and creativity.
I want to challenge singers, writers and musicians to go beyond the conventional presentation of music and dive into the depths of one of God’s most unique expressions aside from the art of making love….
It’s a complete waste of time to try putting Tonéx into a box, let’s admit that right now. The man excels at re-inventing himself, and yet retains that signature stamp of his through all his work.
With a brand new set of music in ’02 titled O2, you’re getting a mega-dose of his self-styled and self-defined Nureau.
And if you don’t know what that is, you will when your CD player has finished spinning this disc.
Nureau is Tonéx and Tonéx is Nureau.
Like a breath of fresh air, O2 delivers an ever-intriguing mixture of styles and influences, a blend of the peaceful and the hyper, and choice guest spots from Nureau Ink delegates.
You find it all here, T-boy’s penchant for sampling and looping, sometimes crazy but always effective production, and his powerfully gifted vocals. Nineteen tracks in total, only two of them are bona fide interludes.
Sampling himself, of all people, the album starts off with a breezy vocal prologue that captures wordless melody, before venturing into the title track a static-filled, breathy, electronic curio that questions the vulgar state of the so-called ‘music’ of mainstream today. The oxygen reference relates to Tonex’s statement in the song that “people want some oxygen, people want to breathe, and whatever you feed them, that’s what they’re gonna eat”.
At times the vibe on O2 is almost Euro-Soul-Pop, and it’s highly enjoyable. Always melodic and heavily reliant on innovative production techniques, there’s never a shortage of things to listen for, and while not too complex, you’ll easily find yourself hearing things for the first time after the 20th spin.
“Dancin’ In The Son” is sheer genius. With Gibraan on mid-song rap, guitar from Glen McKinney, scratches from treygel of Future Sound and production from Syntax Records’ own Tim Trudeau (aka SirROCdomz), the song is buoyant and joyful with some fantastic kicks at vocal technique and rhythm, plus some sweet instrumentation. The song goes down as the album highlight.
"‘Bout A Thang" is an all-out bouncy jam, with hand claps, boisterous sampling and plenty of infectiousity with its Nureau take on the truth that ‘trouble don’t last always’.
Tonéx uses familiar words but a new tune on "That’s When You Bless Me", a gentle, mid-tempo gem. On “Seasons”, Yvette “Zsa Zsa” Williams duets with her husband.
“The Beautiful Place” takes the growing trend for multiple language inclusions to its far reaches, with elements of Spanish, Swahili and Japanese added to the English, as Jah Word makes an appearance. Seeing the face of God in heaven is the topic and the vibe is peacefully dreamy, resplendent with strings, stacked modulating harmonies and children’s voices.
The anointing is strong and yes, injustice has been done on this review, because you can’t put to words what Tonéx puts to music.
No one can.
Nureau Ink / Verity / Jive
— reviewed by Stan North —
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