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Closer by Sherwin Gardner | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Closer [edit]
by Sherwin Gardner | Genre: Other | Release Date: April 01, 2004

We've all heard the saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

That cliche seems to hold little water for Sherwin Gardner, aka The Intellect. Where many artists might rely on the same formula used in a previous successful release, Gardner strives to push the barriers of the musical elements on Closer, his first album on Creative Soul Entertainment.

Still enjoying an enthusiastic reception from his first international release, Leaning, Gardner brings another eclectic creation into play on this 19-track gem. In his mid-twenties, this Trinidad and Tobago native has produced several artists (as well as all of his own projects), has created his own production entity (Flowmasters), and has influenced a legion of emerging dancehall and reggae Gospel artists.

With Closer, Gardner puts to rest any doubts that he and Gospel reggae are here to stay.

As always "The Intellect" brings in a wide array of musical tones and textures, relying not only on dancehall, but also fusing elements of roots, soca, hip hop and even East Indian flavours.

And then there's his renowned vocals —passionate and heartfelt. It's hard to listen to a track and without getting the impression that this is a conversation (as opposed to a pre-recorded song). This may be a result of Gardner's inclination to freestyle at least one verse in each and every one of his recordings.

The album opens with Gardner pleaing over a stripped-down, echoing drum line, accompanied by a sparse acoustic guitar, "Lord I wanna be closer, Lord when I walk when I talk, Oh Jesus, closer to you."

"My Help" displays Gardner's undeniable talent in melodic vocal arrangements. He smothers a delectable ricocheting, synthetic riddim, complete with keyboard accents. He challenges the listener to think of Who it is they will turn to in times of need.

Sherwin GardnerModern-day roots fans will enjoy "Fill My Life" and "I Got a Song", getting a fill of tantalizing plucked bass and sultry muted-horns.

Gardner brings in his Trinidad and Tobago heritage by tacking a strong East-Indian vibe to several tracks, including "My God is God" and "He Died for Me (Hamalda)." The latter brings in fellow Gospel artists Double Six and Light House Crew, making for a cut strong on vocals in a smooth R&B vein, contrasted by the flow of Double Six —an emcee who is one half of the Bahamian rap duo, Supernatural (see album review).

Sherwin Gardner closes the project with an introspective, an examination of his recent experience as a man of God proposing to his (then) wife-to-be. Gardner sings a ballad of thanksgiving and love on "Proposal." Contrasting with the many lyrics out there that focus on short-term and empty relationships, Gardner's "Proposal" hones in on the concept of a long-term, Godly union that revolves around building a future and a common ministry.

Closer simply affirms Sherwin Gardner's position as one of the most requested and influential artists in Gospel reggae.

Track Listing
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01. Closer To You
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02. Fill My Life
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03. My Help
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04. Gonna Be Alright
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05. Take Ah Dip
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06. Sweet Breeze
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07. Bow Down
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08. My God is Good
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09. In Your Arms
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10. I Will Sing
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11. Shower
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12. I Need You
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13. I Got A Song
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14. He Died For Me (Hamalhamadia)
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15. Been There, Done That
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16. Hands Up
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17. Time To Pray
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18. I Stand
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19. My Proposal (Bonus Song)
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Entry last edited by DaLordzPrince on 08.20.09

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