Artist: Trin-i-tee 5:7
Title: Angel & Chanelle
Label: Music World
Dove and Stellar Award-winning gospel/R&B group Trin-i-tee 5:7 is down to a duo on its first new album in nearly four years, but comes across as no less enjoyable than before. Best friends since high school, remaining members Angel Taylor and Chanelle Haynes continue blending their voices with ease, revealing influences from Anita Baker to Toni Braxton to Mary J. Blige. And with a high-profile team behind them—Mathew Knowles (Beyoncé’s father) is their manager; Surefire Music Group (Ne-Yo) does some production; Rockwilder (Kelly Rowland) writes a song—the tracks are always hot.
Better yet, Trin-i-tee 5:7 says the overriding message on Angel & Chanelle is that “God will bring you to a place of acceptance and love, and there is so much power and freedom in that.”
Yes, you can hear this peaceful confidence in opening cut and current single “Over and Over,” a simple meditation on the steady flow of blessings from God. The women start counting those joys in “I Don’t Need a Reason,” an especially endearing selection with a “Single Ladies” bounce to it. Atop a chilled out club beat the pair embraces mercy on “Let It Go,” dreamily singing about breaking away from life’s “fear ... pain ... shame.”
A new version of early Trin-i-tee 5:7 hit “God’s Grace” (written by R. Kelly and originally released thirteen years ago) stands out as a nice way of bridging the group’s acclaimed past with its bright future; the updated arrangement trades piano for acoustic guitar and an uncluttered rhythm that better fits a duo’s dynamic. “Just Remember,” written by Angel, Chanelle, and Knowles, further emphasizes the theme of grace rather than judgment with a pop/hip-hop edge. “I Worship Your Name” emerges as the record’s most stirring moment—a moving response of pure praise to what Christ did for us all.
The sole critique of Angel & Chanelle is that it comes in standard 12-song and deluxe 17-song editions, with the latter being the only one to include the strong Christian market single “I Am Not Alone” and a rocking cover of “The Cross” from Prince’s 1987 album, Sign o’ the Times. Why spread important tracks over two products, potentially confusing fans or causing them to dig or pay extra for what could have fit in one place? All that to say, look for the deluxe version.