Youth Edition
Anything Is Possible

You know that something is afoot when an unknown group on an unknown label suddenly start making noises on the Billboard Gospel charts. So, after nearly a month of hovering around the mid 30s, how could we not check out Youth Edition?

With a strong nod to The Winans but with heavier groove intensity, Youth Edition drives straight into urban terrain (probably in a Jeep) with this superb debut album. Comprised of four first cousins from the South Side of Chi-town, proof of their nearly two decades of singing together is branded on every track. For the record, and since it’s probable that with this degree of talent you will be hearing from them again, they are Van Moody, Kevin Vasser, Keith Vasser and Reggie Tillman.

Kevin VasserVan MoodyKeith VasserReggie Tillman

The title cut is an irrepressible slow jam that combines inspirational testimony with gorgeous harmonies, and is the focus of the MTV-ready video single from the project, which features both Shaq and Faith Evans in silent cameos. But this album is no one-hit wonder, with dance-driven selections like “Get On Up” and Youth Editionfunky flows like “Keep On Keepin’ On”. And with the hook-laden, head-bobbin “Use Me”, Youth Edition pulls into serious contention for some kind of Urban Song of the Year. In fact this group doesn’t let go the ear on any one of the 14 tracks on the project.

With Gospel industry genius Percy Bady behind this project, it moves beyond the edge of ordinary, as his gold hand of production is brushed across every track. Bady also joins Youth Edition in writing much of the material, and he also adds his keyboard skills to the mix. The sharp eye will catch the occasional credit to Gospel bassist Maurice Fitzgerald and rising vocalist Jesse Campbell.

So, somebody call Chrysler and tell them to start investing in heavy-duty shocks --because there’s gonna be plenty Jeeps bouncing around the nation all summer if enough get their hands on these tru-skool grooves.

Producer: Percy Bady
imi Records

— reviewed by Stan North —

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