STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 5040-4864 LABEL: Verity 012414317728 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Crashing onto the scene with the amazing 'Pronounced Toe-Nay' album, Tonex has taken his time following it up with this new release '02' arriving in my stereo almost a year late. However it was worth the wait. I'm already on record suggesting that Tonex is a genius and there has been plenty of fuss about his role as a visionary producer and songwriter. Perhaps his singing has been overlooked but here's an album where you can really hear the quality of his vocals. From the soulfulness of "That's When" to the funk of "Everything" and the heavenly description of "The Beautiful Place", Tonex brings powerful expression vocally to the lyrics he's penned. When it comes down to favourites, it's hard to choose but the prophetic lyrics of "God Has Not 4got" touch me every time I hear it. The title track is a radical attack on the irresponsible music industry which gets cheap sales by using sex to sell product rather than really developing creativity and artistry. "Bout A Thing" and "Help" are stronger slabs of funk that will have you dropping a foot on the dance floor. If anything, this album is a little less "out there" than his debut or maybe it's simply because he's writing happier songs these days. Although, while at Gospel Music Week I did overhear an associate of Tonex's suggesting that he's holding back his very very best stuff because he's not happy with his record deal. Whether there's any truth in that rumour, the genius of his music leads me to conclude that this man is still a gospel music Prince or Michael Jackson rather than a Terence Trent D'Arby! However, the momentum seems to have slowed up a little with '02' and I long for him to receive the wider recognition he deserves. This is a solid consolidation of his reputation but lacks the mind blowing impact of his debut.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
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.
It's probably fair to say Tonéx is the most enigmatic character to surface in the world of gospel music. Frequently compared to left-field soul geniuses such as Prince, D'Angelo and Lewis Taylor.. Tonéx loves to push the boundaries of gospel music, with powerful results.
'O2' - his second 'proper'; album - is an album with something for just about everybody. The track 'Seasons' tells us that we can't appreciate the good times without having lived through the bad ones. 'You' is a heartfelt love song written for Mrs. Tonéx's (aka Yvette), and 'Bout A Thang' is a straight-up party anthem. Having shown off his musical versatility throughout, on 'The Beautiful Place,' Tonéx displays some linguistic versatility with lyrics in Swahili, Spanish and Japanese!