DeWayne Woods, in my view, is a gospel traditionalist. By that, I mean Woods' repertoire leans toward tunes that feature a lead vocalist singing verses and then leading a large ensemble choir on a call and response chorus. Woods can be performing a praise and worship song that could be equally effective as a congregational song, or he can be singing a contemporary Christian number. In both cases, Woods is an artist who gives great comfort to people who like gospel singers to be unabashedly upfront about the profession of their faith.
That was evident on Woods' debut album, Introducing DeWayne Woods & When Singers Meet. That CD included the smash "Let Go," which is a both a definitive example of the traditional gospel song and an example of Woods at his absolute best. Woods is not the flashiest star in the gospel music firmament. You won't get autotune, hip-hop influenced beats or lyrics filled with post culture reference points. What listeners get from Woods on the debut, as well as his latest album My Life's Lyric, are songs that are well crafted and well sung numbers that are eloquent statements of Woods' faith.
Praise and worship, contemporary Christian and classic gospel numbers populate My Life's Lyric. Even when Woods steps out and adopts pop sensibilities such as on the Motown influenced "Good Times" or the island tinged "Lost," he holds to form in other ways. On "Lost," the lyrics and the title both point to the importance Woods holds on his relationship with God. The drum licks and bass line on "Good Times" might remind some of classic Motown. Of course, gospel greatly influenced the architects of the Motown sound. Both of these songs verify that there is no getting away from gospel influences in black music.
Woods is at his best when he is clearly in his role of as an ambassador of classic gospel, leading a full choir and a group of talented musicians in numbers such as "God Can," "I Won't Be Afraid" and "What Kind of Love." And at his best he leads to hands uplifted in thanks to God and gratitude to an artist who never allows the listener forget the source of all blessings. Recommended
By Howard Dukes