Various Artists
His Woman, His Wife Soundtrack

His Woman, His Wife Soundtrack CDGospel's first stage play soundtrack in a LONG time is a bold adventure in cross over marketing. An examination of the situation reveals it to be wholly appropriate.

In setting the David Talbert play His Woman, His Wife to disc, GospoCentric calls on not only their stellar roster of Gospel artists, but beyond to artists such as Dawkins and Dawkins, Hezekiah Walker and Donald Lawrence. Then there's the appearance of R&B noteables such as Beyonce and Kelly from Destiny's Child, plus Dave Hollister and Tony Terry (both whom have recently entered the Gospel arena).

As a companion piece to the VHS video of the play, the soundtrack lyrically unfolds in lock step with the plot. Wisely and appropriately, A&R at the GospoCentric choose to have the lyrical contributions of the mainstream artists reflecting the despair and woe of the situation, while looking to God for resolution. It make things credible. Fred Jerkins or Joe "Flip" Wilson handle the lion's share of these cuts.

So you have the duo from Destiny's Child offering up "Have Your Way", a infectious lament with to God that describes the woe of the common-law marriage situation. Natalie Wilson and Tony Terry trade lines in a dramaticMalik Yoba and LaShanda Reese starring in the stageplay, His Woman, His Wife duet (with SOP Chorale supporting) which has Wilson taking the character of a women telling her common-law partner (Terry) that she has to leave since 'there's another man in my life, and His Name is Jesus Christ'. Subtle string-like flourishes enhance the cut.

Dave Hollister delivers the beautiful marriage ballad "Old Fashioned Way" with lyrics such as "I'm gonna love you the old-fashioned way, with respect, and a ring..."

Moving to the straight Gospel tracks, newcomer Tra'-Knox makes a deep mark with the very urban jam, "Will You Be There" and Dawkins and Dawkins jump back into the scene with the album's killer cut, "Love Like This". Hezekiah Walker and Donald Lawrence vocally team up on Lawrence's encouraging soul-lifter, "Prayin' For You".

Kirk Franklin and 1NC have new music on here too, with "Don't Worry", a soft, piano-driven song. No surprise here, it's another gorgeous Franklin hit.

This soundtrack is also notable for the re-appearance of various members of The Family. Billed as The Family members His Woman, His Wife Soundtrack Videowith friends Darryl, Tonya and Andrea, they deliver on cue with a Donald Lawrence production, "Get Your Life Back": nice melodies, smooth harmonies and those beloved Family vocals.

The album ends with a collection of three cuts taken straight from the play. Malik Yoba, LaShanda Reece and Lecresia Campbell take the vocal reigns on their respective solo numbers.

The Stephanie Mills' Gospel hit, "The Power of God" (from her 1995 GospoCentric project) nicely curtains the project.

Producers: Various
album release date: October 3, 2000
GospoCentric Records

reviewed by Stan North

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