The Winans - Return

Saturday 1st September 1990
The Winans - Return
The Winans - Return

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Warner Alliance WBD4100
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mark Falla

The cover of this album gives clues to the two styles contained within: the front has the four brothers with mean expressions like spectators at a pro heavyweight fight; the rear looking like they're miming to a Bee Gees song. The more aggressive style wins on points by my card after hearing "Return". The opening "Its Time", an urgent stuttering rap, shows off this tougher side to perfection: prophetic words offset by glorious harmonies punched back in the chorus. "A Friend" is almost traditional gospel in that the production is so minimal; the spacious lead by Marvin, a match for the Alexander O'Neiis of this world, is backed up by a repeated chorus that just keeps on building. "Don't Leave Me" is also vintage Winans with Marvin pleading to The Spirit like his life depended on it (it does) ably backed up by his talent-laden brothers. These simple productions by Riley and Bell allow the key instruments i.e. vocal chords, the room to manoeuvre. The tracks produced by Michael J. Powell (of Anita Baker fame) are less satisfying. The characteristic 'keyboards to the front and synth' flourishes only stifle the weaker songs. "Gonna Se Alright", "When You Cry" and Together We Stand" are all ballads of reassurance that don't allow the vocal array that the more troubled side to the group displays. An album totally produced by Riley and Bell with Marvin on lead vocals is the match the crowd is waiting for. Until then The Winans will remain the main contenders with no proper arena for their massive talent.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. It's Time [Listen]
2. Everyday The Same [Listen]
3. Don't Leave Me [Listen]
4. A Friend [Listen]
5. Gonna Be Alright [Listen]
6. When You Cry [Listen]
7. Together We Stand [Listen]
8. This Time It's Personal [Listen]
9. Free [Listen]
10. Where Ever [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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