For more than a decade, the Winans—brothers Marvin, 35, Carvin, 35, Michael, 34, and Ronald, 38—have spread the “good news” to millions of hard-core gospel fans and secular listeners alike. Thanks to such crossover R&B hits as “It’s Time” and “Ain’t No Need to Worry,” this soul-stirring, Grammy-winning quartet (who paved the way for their platinum-selling siblings BeBe and CeCe) have turned black contemporary gospel into a lucrative labor of love.
The Winans’ signature vocal stylings resound in many of today’s young male R&B harmony groups (especially Jodeci), but in this new duet-filled album—the long-overdue follow-up to their successful 1990 album, Return—you’ll hear how the young guns have influenced the Winans.
While the throbbing hip-hop rhythms that anchor “Pay Day” and “Money Motive” give the group a contemporary edge, they occasionally overwhelm the quartet’s vocal performances. The album’s unexpected guest is country crooner Ricky Van Shelton, on the plaintive duet “If He Doesn’t Come Tonight.” Shelton’s desperado sound blends well with the Winans’ raspy and riveting harmonies, but the song itself is forgettable. The brothers shine on the bouncy, midtempo “It’s Not Heaven” (a duet with Laylah Hathaway) and on the classic ballad “Love Will Never Die.” On “He Said Go,” a plushly arranged ballad, the Winans demonstrate that when the song they’re singing is even half as heavenly as their voices, nobody renders it more passionately. (Qwest)