FIYA / James Fortune


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James Fortune understands that if you’re going to preach redemption in the 21st century, you’re going to have to make a production of it, and his albums are a bit like urban gospel hip-hop soul revues all done up in show-biz style on Broadway, complete with Fortune's spoken, sung, and shouted encouragement. Encore follows suit, with guest spots from the likes of Kierra "KiKi" Sheard, J. Drew Sheard, Isaac Caree, Canton Jones, and Erica Cumbo, and the energy and passion never ebb. It’s all big, bold, and positive, and tracks like “It Was You” and the undeniably funky “Holy Ghost Holiday” have the rhythmic punch of urban dancefloor hits. Fortune understands what he’s doing. If you start dancing and singing, then maybe you’ll start listening to the message, too. Call it 21st century gospel -- Fortune does it as well as anyone.

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