Songwriter and gospel music extraordinaire Benjamin “Bebe” Winans just released his fourth solo album titled “Dream.”
It more or less delivered a never-ending nightmare.
With all of the talent that exists within his previous projects one would expect this Grammy Award winning veteran to offer more than the half-baked ballads on this 11-track CD.
Unfortunately, “Dream” is an album that offers only a couple of good songs.
Track 2, “Love Thang,” would fit the aforementioned criteria.
As the music begins and the soulful tenor voice of Winans hits the airwaves, he soothes you with the smooth sounds of his crisp voice while the lyrics of “Love Thang” beautifully articulate deep passion and feeling.
“Your life changed my point of view/you gave my love life a new meaning/I promise to give more than you’ll ever need /you can count on me it’s a love thang.”
After hearing that song it is hard to appreciate the rest of the material presented on the other tracks, especially because they simply did not amount to much more than fillers for the rest of the CD.
Another one of the album’s redeeming qualities is a thought-provoking song on track 4. The song, titled “That’s a Friend,” is filled with lyrics that deliver a powerful observation of what a friend is.
“A friend will always tell the truth even when it hurts some times/ a friend will always remain true no matter what, when, where or why/and a friend will tell you when you’re wrong and still stand by your side/ and there is two words friends don’t say they/ never say goodbye/now that’s a friend.”
The words alone draw a direct correlation to what most people look for in good friendships.
Coupled with the powerful vocals of Winans, “That’s a Friend” is definitely an all-around impressive song.
With that being said, one can only wonder if Winans must have been dreaming, as the title suggests, when this record was ushered under the caveat of gospel music, because, to say the least, it simply isn’t.
Make no mistake – nothing is more rewarding than hearing an artist present a fresh new sound, but not at the risk of losing touch with the audience.
In this case he could have given listeners much more of a variety like he has done with his other albums that blended the music genres of R&B, Smooth Jazz and Gospel music.
Making the decision to listen to the entire CD will land you in the twilight zone, because all the songs begin to sound the same.
Unlike “That’s a Friend” and “Love Thang,” the title track, “I Have a Dream,” is a lackluster rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s infamous speech put to music.
After that song, the record rapidly began to accelerate towards mediocrity.
“Dream” forces its audition to critically dispose of the myth that an industry name will always produce a good product.
Though the album features the artist’s vocal ability, the music was neither fresh, trendy nor new.
In fact, BeBe failed to live up to the potential of the great Winans name.
Contact Amanda Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org