Prime Cuts: He's Faithful, All I Need is You, You Prayed Me Through It
With AsOne, stereo typicalness has no soapbox to stand on. First, new Gospel music duo AsOne is one of the first ever interracial female duo that features the voices of talented singer/songwriters Lisa Wright and Theresa Bailey. Signed to 360MusicWorx, this album eradicates the racial divide between black and white. Second, though often a muted subject of conversation, there is a tacit expectation of what Gospel music by an African American artist ought to sound like relative to a white artist. But with AsOne's debut album such expectations are shattered to smithereens. On these newly recorded 8 tracks, you will find a myriad of musical styles and nuances that truly make this album defy any categorization. Here you will find vestiges of sunkissed pop gloss, smooth R&B grooves, and orchestrated bombastic AC cataclysm all combusting together in one of this year's hottest releases.
Featuring Lamar Campbell and Spirit of Praise on backing vocals, lead single "Hero" (not the Mariah Carey cover but an original) opens up the proceedings with a warm and glowing ode to Jesus as our hero. In our age of (super)hero obsessions, "Hero" is a visceral lift for the soul. Never recessing into any moments of steely nihilism is "Love Won" which contextualizes the Cross of Jesus Christ in a warm R&B-cum-pop sound of cascading strings. "One," perhaps the song that encapsulates the duo's raison detre, speaks of unity among God's people that is brought to bear with the familial and affecting sounds of a children's choir.
Sounding like one of those gorgeous ballads Diane Warren used to write for Mary J. Blige or Whitney Houston in the 90s is "He's Faithful." With the two ladies trading lines with each other each adding affirmation to each other about the reliability of our Savior over floating saxophone glaze, this love song to Jesus is tailored made for those struggling in difficult times. The piano-led "All I Need is You" sounds like the apt response to "He's Faithful" as the duo offers a sonic heartfelt prayer of surrender to Jesus. Ten-time Grammy winner Mark Kibble of Take 6 adds his glowing harmonies to the ladies on the cinematic ballad "You Prayed Me Through," which ends the album on a high note keyed on God's sovereignty.
Rather than being domesticated by radio categorization or racial expectations, AsOne sings from the heart on songs that eradicates artificial scaffolds. At the end of the day, AsOne comes across sounding freer, more heartfelt and more worshipful.