Kelly Price - Sing Pray Love, Vol. 1: Sing

Kelly Price
Kelly Price - Sing, Pray, Love Volume 1.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

 "Music goes past being what I do to support myself and my family---this is my therapy. I can have a violent moment and get it out in a song; you’ll know it because you’ll hear it, you’ll see it, and it’s probably the safest way."

Kelly Price, 2011 (Knowshi.com)

Blessed with some of the most powerful of pipes in her generation, Kelly Price is a singer and songwriter who has combined equal measure of gospel fervor and relatable authenticity since her 1998 debut (Soul of A Woman). No matter what medium she's delivering in---live or Memorex--- the clarity and conviction poured into Kelly's performances are enough to make the listener want to run down an aisle ("He Proposed"), shout His praises ("This Is Who I Am") or throw a temper tantrum ("Tired") all at the same time, which is why Sing Pray Love, Vol. 1: Sing is such an appropriate title for her seventh studio release. 

 "Music goes past being what I do to support myself and my family---this is my therapy. I can have a violent moment and get it out in a song; you’ll know it because you’ll hear it, you’ll see it, and it’s probably the safest way."

Kelly Price, 2011 (Knowshi.com)

Blessed with some of the most powerful of pipes in her generation, Kelly Price is a singer and songwriter who has combined equal measure of gospel fervor and relatable authenticity since her 1998 debut (Soul of A Woman). No matter what medium she's delivering in---live or Memorex--- the clarity and conviction poured into Kelly's performances are enough to make the listener want to run down an aisle ("He Proposed"), shout His praises ("This Is Who I Am") or throw a temper tantrum ("Tired") all at the same time, which is why Sing Pray Love, Vol. 1: Sing is such an appropriate title for her seventh studio release. 

A couple of publicized shifts have re-arranged the landscape of Ms. Price's career since 2011's Kelly: a pair of inescapable monster hits anchoring the already-stellar CD ("Not My Daddy," "Tired") and, of course, the infamous antics and absenteeism that tainted her persona during her first-ever reality show stint in last year's R&B Divas L.A. A lesser person would've likely gone analog (off social media) and sought seclusion indefinitely, but first and foremost, Kelly Price is a pro AND a certified sanger, so by the time you press 'play' on Track 1, you're so caught up in the hurricane-strength wail of her vocals that you barely remember and probably care even less. 

Her mission statement, AKA the intro, makes it plain: "I sing because it frees me; I pray so I can heal; I love because He loves me." And what follows is, as expected, a collection of enjoyable and energetically-rendered songs. Ms. Price is practically Every Woman from a songwriting perspective---Giddy Girlfriend, Good Wife, Jilted Ex, Sidepiece and Too Through---and makes each one of them believable: "Last Night" somberly recounts The Worst Fight Ever and builds into an full-on opera-worthy climax as she pleads for another chance ("I said you're the one to blame, I called you out of your name....You are my everything, you are the song I sing/ what can I say or do to make this right with you?"), while its polar opposite, "Think Again," offers Mr. Man some flip-flops as he's sent to hit the bricks.

Because of the rich timbre of Kelly's soprano, ballads dominate the set but they don't deflect from the quality of the more upbeat material, such as the fist-pumping, Zomba-101-worthy first single, "It's My Time," her retro-fitted 80s groove with Ruben Studdard, "Back 2 Love," and the flirtatious "Never Been Scared."  What really sets off the nostalgia---right after the perky cover of Chaka Khan's "Through The Fire"---is "Conversations With HER," a duet with Algebra Blessett that posits the latter as the conniving ex-friend now suffering from 'buyer's remorse' since her present hubby, Kelly's Ex, is back to his old tricks: "The neighbors were talking (yes I know), at church was the same (oh I'm sorry)/took everything from me, left nothing but shame."

Judging from the philosophy Kelly drops in the final track, "Metamorphosis," the next CD might just be entitled Redemption, Restoration and Forgiveness, Vol. 2....then again, when that sangin' voice of hers hits your ears, all that matters is the music, not any of the drama (authentic or otherwise) surrounding it. And since Ms. Price remains focused on what matters, we can't help but do the same. Sing on Sister Kelly.....sing on. Enthusiastically Recommended. 

By Melody Charles

 
Featured Album - Conya Doss - CLEAR
Album of the Month - Cecile McLorin Salvant - The Window
Featured Album - Raul Midón - If You Really Want
Featured Album - Anthony David - Hello Like Before

Leave a comment!