Friday, August 26, 2016

Vince Ebo-Love Is The Better Way (1992)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: August 26, 2016

What better way is there to spend the last few minutes of leisure time on my Friday evening than to tune into some uplifting music.....and make a blog post about it while I'm at it? It's been a while since I selected something to share from the Christian Contemporary Music catalog, but a recent request motivated me to shine the spotlight on a name that much of the popular music world may not be too familiar with: Vince Ebo. The late gospel singer managed to release only one solo album—"Love Is The Better Way"—before his untimely passing ended singing career; I thought it would be a nice gesture to keep both his spirit and his music alive more than two decades later. And wonderful music it is, combining a terrific upbeat r&b sound with meaningful lyrics that speak to your mind and to your heart. "Forgiven" kicks off this praise party in a dynamite way! It's a song off rejoicing and liberation, reminding you that the best in life is yet to come. The vocals are outstanding—from Vince leading the way to the soulful collective voices of the backing choir. Advice for everyone is given on the title track right after, which is the first place where Vince shows off his remarkable talent for reaching the high soaring stratosphere of his singing range. It's a funky jazz party amidst the praises on "Make It Work (Vincenzo's Groove)". Confidence and optimism about bringing people together and making good things happen—I miss hearing songs like this that combine good fun with a good motivational message. Here's something that might rock you world: "I Will Not Be Shaken". You'll know as soon as you take in the intense, dark intro before the main beat even steps in that this will be one mighty powerful song. Amidst the booming beat and the edginess provided by the rock guitar accompaniment adds to the edginess are Vince's words of being changed and rearranged and standing firm for what he is and what he believes in. My favorite part of this jam: the collective background vocalists who are large and in charge when they chant 'I will not be shaken'. He pauses for a few tender minutes on the touching piano piece, "These Are The Questions", to cry out to anyone who will listen to his concerns; it's an excellent place to enjoy hearing him solo, loud and crystal clear. Though the absolute best place to take in Vince's strong vocal prowess is on "It's Over". At first glance, it might seem like the song will be about something dismal and bleak—the stillness of the orchestral overture in the prelude beforehand even suggests that—but the words tell the triumphant story of how he''s been liberated and set free&; it's a truly majestic performance with a colossal finish! Reinforcing that triumph is "Real Love" and a favorite of mine, " Long Time Comin' " (being cut loose from the ball and chain that has you bound is well enough reason to celebrate in victory) before he reiterates that love is a better way on the simply titled concluding track, where he shows off that high soaring voice of his (it's so beautiful how he sings 'sweet, sweet love') one last time:

1. Forgiven
2. Love Is The Better Way
3. Make It Work (Vincenzo's Groove)
4. I Will Not Be Shaken
5. These Are The Questions
6. Why?
7. It's Over (Prelude)
8. It's Over
9. Real Love
10. Long Time Comin'
11. Love

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