One glance at the album photography in DeWayne Woods' debut and you'd swear the singer is the next Stevie Wonder, or at least gospel's own Tonéx. And while Woods does sound like Wonder in the knockout, PJ Morton-penned first single, "Let Go," the dark shades, flowing locks, and bohemian garb are pure imaging. Truth is, Introducing DeWayne Woods & When the Singers Meet has more in common with the output of his mentor and label benefactor, Donald Lawrence, than it does with soul music or Tonéx's freak alt-gospel experiments. A graduate of the retired Tri-City Singers, Woods is as churchy as they come, a commanding and extremely adept choir leader, yet not quite the urban soul man that "Let Go" lets on. Those who buy the album based on that chart-topping single are in for a surprise: the rest of Introducing is straight-up contemporary gospel -- well-produced, yes, but tending towards slowness and a bit out of character for the young artist/performer. Now that Woods is a Stellar winner -- for New Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year, no less -- here's hoping the added level of industry attention affords him the opportunity to take more risks.
AllMusic Review by Andree Farias
feat: Candy West