Trin-i-tee 5:7 - T57 Deluxe Edition

Trin-i-tee 5:7
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Two Dove Awards, one Grammy nomination and a platinum-selling comeback CD; it could be said that 2008 was a great year for the contemporary gospel trio Trin-i-tee 5:7. Having survived a 5 year hiatus, a change in management (from Sonja Norwood to Mathew Knowles) and 2 of the members losing their homes to the devastating Hurricane Katrina (Angel Taylor and Chanelle Hayes), those industry accolades were desserts richly deserved. And as they savor that success just a little while longer, the ladies have returned---somewhat---with T57 Deluxe Edition, a prettily re-packaged version of their 2007 release that features 3 new tracks, 2 music videos and one behind-the-scenes look at the performers in NYC.

Two Dove Awards, one Grammy nomination and a platinum-selling comeback CD; it could be said that 2008 was a great year for the contemporary gospel trio Trin-i-tee 5:7. Having survived a 5 year hiatus, a change in management (from Sonja Norwood to Mathew Knowles) and 2 of the members losing their homes to the devastating Hurricane Katrina (Angel Taylor and Chanelle Hayes), those industry accolades were desserts richly deserved. And as they savor that success just a little while longer, the ladies have returned---somewhat---with T57 Deluxe Edition, a prettily re-packaged version of their 2007 release that features 3 new tracks, 2 music videos and one behind-the-scenes look at the performers in NYC.

Let's cut to the chase, shall we? T57... can only have one of two outcomes: either it's a worthy addition to the roster, or a shameless marketing tool meant to keep the performers near the spotlight while creating new music. For the hardcore fans, the additions may be worth the extra dough: instead of recycled songwriting and production credits, the CD booklet displays each of them with personal photos and individual reflections on last year's wonderful whirlwind. And the tracks? "Get Away" is the most compelling, an upbeat number produced by heavy-hitter Rodney Jerkins that confesses sins and shortcomings to the Heavenly Father and asks for divine intervention in life's darkest moments. "You're Holy," a succinctly-sung and tenderly-conveyed letter to the Lord marveling at His never-ending grace and wisdom. "It Wasn't Me" is the weakest of them all: it's an admirable attempt at a new sound, but its lyrics, annoying vocal arrangement and meandering, jumbled backdrop of a track is barely listenable.

What about the videos? "Listen" and their live NY performance of "I Will Lift" are enjoyable enough, but hardly deviate from what a simple YouTube search would offer. And the 'behind the scenes' look at their visit to a Ronald McDonald House chapel and its fragile young occupants could've been more touching had the camera operator bothered with better focus, sound and lighting (would this have been an acceptable final cut for another MusicWorld Entertainment artist, such as Solange or Beyonce? I doubt it).

So, unless you've got a leftover gift card from Christmas or some extra ends burning a hole in your purse/wallet, it makes little sense to purchase this CD, especially if you already own the original T57 (after the 3 new songs, the track listing of the other 12 doesn't even deviate from the first version). The talent of Trin-i-tee 5:7 is always worthy, but the word 'deluxe' implies much, much more than what this final product demonstrates.

By Melody Charles

 
Album of the Month - Juewett Bostick - Shades of Blu
Choice Cut - Kea Michaels - "Not My Friend"
Song of the Month - Bryan Andrew Wilson - "Only You'

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