It’s been a long time since we’ve seen some fresh faces on the girl group circuit in Gospel. The drought is over as Zie’l (pronounced Zeye-El) hits the scene with their debut effort, Genesis.
The Shreveport, Louisiana based quintet of Crystal Bell, Christina Bell, Aphten Jones, Undrea Northcutt, and Keyondra Lockett have created a sound that has already drawn comparisons to the harmonic stylings of the Clark Sisters.
Perhaps this comparison is most evident on the group’s cover of the Clark Sisters’ classic “Is My Living In Vain”. With more acrobatics than an Olympic gymnast, Zie’l masterfully covers this track while customizing it to give it their own vibe. It’s a must-hear… guaranteed.
Other top songs include “Worship Thee”, “That’s How He Saved Me”, and the jazzy “Can We Get Away”.
The killer vocals of this group are seconded by the stellar production skills of the veteran Derek Clark, Dwight Goodman and Anson Dawkins of the famed Dawkins & Dawkins duo. This pair not only produced the album, but also wrote seven of the nine songs therein. Dawkins even shares lead vocals with the group on “I Love You So Much”.
From the contemporary “Send Me” to the traditionally based, James Cleveland-penned “Surely He’s Able”, this quintet has the entire musical gamut covered. Not enough can be said about their stellar vocal quality, for these girls can flat out sing.
Genesis is indeed an auspicious debut for Zie’l and can quickly put them in the running for New Artist of the Year. Scoop this one up, and do it fast.
Listen to the audio provided below, courtesy of Light Records. Audio tracks are available in RealAudio format (click logo below to listen. )
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Warehouse Records / Light Records
— reviewed by Gerard Bonner —
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