John P. Kee / John P. Kee & the New Life Community Choir / New Life

Life & Favor

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After 18 years on the Verity Music Group label, Life & Favor finds John P. Kee moving to his own label, Kee Music Group. Still, little else has changed as "Wake Up" combines punchy Earth, Wind & Fire-styled R&B with choir gospel and worship. Then there is "Life & Favor" (aka "You Don't Know My Story"), which sounds like vintage Kee as the choir swells during the choruses, while the verses are given to personal stories from James Fortune, Isaac Carree, and Lejuene Thompson. "Life & Favor" is both the title track and the stately key cut, but there's a tie for second with Zacardi Cortez putting the Soul meter in the red for the full-bodied "He's Working It Out" while Kee himself is the reason to pick "My Worship," a soaring slow number that appears in both a live and extended studio mix. Superstars Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond are along for the worship ride, along with Sunday Best winner Le'Andria Johnson, who helps Kee turn "I Win" into the ultimate "get up and get out" number, twice as strong as coffee and anything but bitter.

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