Sometimes enough people you respect in the music industry mention a record and you have to check it out, That’s what happened with the new Crystal Lewis record. Upon hearing the records first two singles, I was interested.
There’s a definite split on Lewis’ new self-titled effort between the songs produced by Elijah Thomson and the ones produced by Peace 586.And yes, I prefer the one’s produced by Thomson. The whole record is groove driven, full of this old school r&b,soul,disco,funk vibe. And the Thomson produced tracks have a little more “feel” and bounce to them. The Peace tracks are great two! But there’s a definite difference.
From the moment you hit play, the soulful sound that Lewis is after hits your ears. Be Alright is Motown soul all the way! And Anthony Evans vocals on the second verse just add to the soulfulness of the track! Faithful is disco done right. That’s a weird sentence to type but it’s true. Clean, bouncing, catchy. It’s what you want a pop song to be. And Lewis’ spoken word bridge is one of my favorite moments of the record. Love Each Other is a dirty little funk song. The guitar riff is nasty sounding, like a 70’s movie soundtrack. It’s another fantastic track!
Let Go is Peace’s first track on the record. Definitely in the same funk style, but more into the 80’s and new jack swing. The live instruments don’t ring as important as the first 3 songs. But again, still funky and soulful, so the track rings true with the early part of the record. The only thing In Your Name is missing is a verse featuring someone like Lecrae or Propaganda. It’s both fresh and vintage at the same. It fits the vibe of the record, but you would hear how Lewis would’ve done a song like this a decade ago.
Move On is a dark toned soul track. Feels familiar to Frank Lenz’s The Hot Stuff record. The guitars have that dirty 70’s sound to them. Begin Again is another track that you could see having been a part of one of Crystal’s earlier albums. But it’s also my favorite of the songs Peace 586 produced. Seat At The Table is the most uplifting and fun song on the record. The horn section takes the track to a new level! I Will Sing could just as easily be a track you’d hear from Alicia Keys. Brave is a great pop ballad to close the record.
What I really like is Lewis’ willing to take a risk. While most veteran CCM artists seem to be taking the easy worship route, Lewis is re-branding herself and creating a new sound. There are moments I like more than others, but nothing I hate on this record! Glad I checked it out. 4.5 out of 5 Stars.