Despite running into vocal challenges that resulted in surgery last December and not being able to talk for three months, the reality of creating an album since 2012's album Fearless, and becoming the sole member of Group 1 Crew, Manwell Reyes ventured into the studio. He partnered with friends and industry veterans such as Seth Moseley, Josh Bronleewe, Tedd T, Josh Crosby, Jason Walker and others to lay down tracks exploring brokenness while paying tribute to God’s love and power. Artists such as Jor'dan Armstrong, My Kid Brother, Lauryn Taylor Bach (1GN), Chris Cleveland (Stars Go Dim) and even Reyes’ wife, comedian Anjelah Johnson (Mad TV's Bon Qui Qui), make appearances on the collaborative album, resulting in a collection of songs that are catchy and dance-worthy while carrying a new level of depth than ever before.
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Power (f/ My Kid Brother)
Download (f/ Anjelah Johnson & Glory)
Wake Me Up (Amnesia)
Bad Day (f/ Mr. Rae)
Take It All In
Burn (f/ Lauryn Taylor Back of 1GN)
On Again Off Again
I Know (f/ Jor'dan Armstrong)
Inevitable (f/ Chris Cleveland)
People of a Second Chance
Best Is Yet to Come
Hold Back the Rain (f/ Jason Walker & Bethany Cruz)
The Power of a New Start| Posted August 08, 2016
Despite 2 EPs that essentially formed enough material to comprise a LP, it's been 4 years since we had a proper Group 1 Crew full-length album. Power gives us an idea of what the next era of the band will look like, now that Manwell Reyes is solely responsible for helming the group's direction.
With a band backing him to create a 5-piece ensemble, Manny sticks to what has worked in the past: a mix of contemporary pop, dance, and witty hip-hop. Sarah Sandoz steps into the vocal role (formerly filled by Blanca) and pulls it off without a hitch. Manny still rocks his signature rapping style. At 16 tracks, the album is fairly massive by contemporary standards, and contains a healthy mix of everything G1C is known for.
"Wake Me Up (Amnesia)" ticks the radio notch and has already earned the band some chart love. "Hold Back The Rain" is a fairly epic closer of a ballad. "20/20" and "Burn" show future radio potential with impossibly infectious choruses. "Take It All In" is a relatable number about appreciating the blessings of life in the current moment before they fade away.
Given the thick song list, not every cut lands with the same power or unique identity. But the extensive list of guest performers keeps the variety coming. This may not land at the top of the memorable list in the band's discography, but it should successfully usher in an exciting new era.
The Bottom Line: A healthy serving of all of the band's favorite sounds, Power should satisfy longtime fans and continue to give the band more hits to add to their growing body of classic tunes.
Song to Download Now:
"Wake Me Up (Amnesia)" (Get it on iTunes here.)