Charles Woolfork and Covenant
Charles Woolfork has always been on the cusp of the urban edge, beginning with his ear-popping debut with
Praise Covenant Choir on Benson back in the mid 90's. Amidst the beats and hip-hop grooves however,
he has always retained that special knack for
smooth-chorus, street-based worship grooves. That continues with his third project,
Tru2God.Producers: Charles Woolfork, Martin Ferenzi, Jerome Paden
album release date: June 27, 2000
The opening super-studio theme track "Tru2God" jump-starts all jeeps within earshot.
Over a percolating
nuance-filled track that quickly nestles into a pocket, Woolfork throws down a hyper lead vocal in a
pledge to serve God, bringing in a rap that gets a call-and-response from the lively
Covenant crew. In response to Woolforks' irresistable call ("Holy Ghost home boys, make some noise"),
they sure enough do. (See the free audiovisual souvenir postcard)
While Covenant makes a couple appearances on this project, much
of the backing vocals come from Woolfork himself. The solo route is
a departure from his previous projects, but consistent with the thematic
focus on his covenant relationship with God it's the thread that he's
woven into the overall lyrical message on the album.
Vocoder maestro Rufus Troutman continues to make an impression in the
Gospel industry, joining here in celebration on "Da'Holyghostparty!" by contributing multi-layers
of voice box harmony on the chorus. It's one of many urbanized cuts on Tru2God. Others
include "Somethin' About 'Cha" and the infectious "Jehovah's Dance",
where the reggae feel gets a run. While it would have been nice to receive some live tracks in the mix of the album,
there's no denying that the studio gets maximum use with its effects.
"Can't Nobody" brings a smile with its subtle melodic reference to
a familiar Kirk Franklin hit, and a genius mid-track
reference to the Lisa Stansfield's late 80's soul hit
with the lyrics "been around the world and I-I-I....I can't find nobody".
Other highlights come from the smoother flows. "It Is Well" stands out especially, with
it's thick, dense and slow harmonies that support honest and encouraging
lyrics. Also noteworthy are "No One Else" with
Myisha Godfrey in duet with Woolfork, plus the
gently-rising "Never Let
Me Down" with its spoken Spanish intro and rapidly moving bass/rhythm track.
Vocally, Woolfork has never been in better form. As writer of every track, his
covenant message is clear, well-defined, and welcomed (see interview). On Tru2God, he presents a
diverse and meaty album, and that goes for lyrics, music AND beats.
reviewed by Stan North —
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