Sanchez

He's Got the Power

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Sanchez, one of reggae's most prodigiously gifted dancehall crooners, seems to be laboring under a misapprehension: namely, that a devotion to Christianity and desire to record gospel songs means that he must largely turn his back on reggae rhythms in favor of schmaltzy gospel arrangements. He's Got the Power finds Sanchez splitting the difference almost evenly between the two styles, with the edge going to swelling gospel chord progressions, cheesy organ parts, and soft-focus synthesizer washes. At his best he combines muscular reggae and dancehall beats with equally uncompromising lyrical stances: "On My Knees," "I Believe," and the excellent "Medley" (which incorporates "It Soon Be Done," "I'll Fly Away," and "Oh Happy Day," among others) are examples of reggae gospel fusion at its best. His straight rendition of "Old Rugged Cross," on the other hand, brings nothing new to what has become a rather tired standard, nor do his versions of "One Day at a Time" or "Tis So Sweet" (on which Chevelle Franklin's considerable skills are wasted). The ska arrangement of "Across the Bridge" is fun, though. Overall, this album is something of a disappointment.

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