ALBUM REVIEW: Chevelle Franklyn – “SET TIME”
Chevelle Franklyn is back with a bang from a ten year break since her last Studio Album, His Love. You will agree that the release of her new album “Set Time” is long overdue but like she mentions she was not in a rush for this, as there is no perfect time but now. What’s the rush anyways? “God was doing His thing, I kept receiving new music but the season was not yet fulfilled for music to be released”, she says.
The vocally endowed Jamaican act who is a Nigerian sweetheart has been touring the world over the last couple of years.
“God opened doors in Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe, I mean all over Africa, and the world by extension – London, The Middle East, The States and Europe.”
The album “Set Time” comes with a lot of surprises as she opens herself to try new expressions, new tunes and a lot of sounds that are peculiar to African Music.
Chevelle’s ‘Set Time’ has a number of interesting guest appearances, including vocal powerhouse Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Grammy Award winning artist, Israel Houghton, Hillsong and South Africa’s Iconic worship leader, Lionel Petersen and one of Nigeria’s best, Frank Edwards. I wonder how she pulled everyone from this far ends to achieve this.
The 18 track Album is Chevelle’s third studio project. I can call it a Love Album as every song is an expression of deep affection for the One who first loved her, and she dropped this right on time, giving back all the love.
Reggae lovers are in for a good time with this album. It is a body of work that exemplifies the dexterity of the Jamaican’s music experience over the years and she brought it all to bare.
Track 1: FIRST LOVE
Chevelle introduces the album with this reggae song dedicated to her you to her first love, whilst inviting you to enjoy the same love experience as well. Like every first love experience, she expresses the song like an intoxicated lover.
This is a perfect starter track. According to her, she does not care what she has lost in the process of chasing this first love, as this love is absolutely good to her.
Track 2: HAVE YOU HEARD
Wonder why she calls herself a Naijamaican? “Have You Heard” tells it all. Rocking you like a Naijamaican on this one, Chevelle made a medley of Ose-Iye (Have You Heard?) and Midnight Crew’s Igwe with a catchy reggae groove. You can tell she played safe on this one, ensuring she properly pronounced the Nigerian local dialects. She don’t intend losing her Naija people.
She did a good job, you will agree with me when you hear this. Go ahead! Tag all the Midnight Crew music lovers on this one.
Track 3: GOOD SHEPHERD
The first song on the album with a guest appearance – Israel Houghton. The duo seem to have mastered a certain musical synergy. In 2009, she was featured on one track (“Surely Goodness”) on Israel Houghton‘s album The Power of One; which won the Grammy award in 2010 for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.
Good Shepherd is another great collaboration. They both sing about the love of God on this one.
“There ain’t no love like the love of the Good Shepherd. He would leave the ninety-nine and come look for you.” You’ll love it!
Track 4: WHO CAN’T HEAR
Unexpectedly, this message is wrapped in a smooth ballad, the message gotta sink in. Who Can’t Hear is a song for everyone who is not yielding to the call or voice of Spirit. Saying whoever refuses to hear will feel the impact of disobedience as a warning goes before destruction.
If you ask me, this is Chevelle’s evangelism song and it is one of my specials on this Album!
Track 5: SIN TING
Chevelle starts with words of admiration to the Lord in this song and thereafter, presents herself to Him who is able to keep her heart stayed in Him away from the corruption, temptations and distraction of this world.
“Keep your SIN TING, you and your SIN TING can go back where you come from”
I had to listen closely to comprehend this song properly, but it is becoming one of my favorite on this Album.
I’m done analyzing… I just want to enjoy this song!
Track 6: PEACE
The all-time classic “Peace” by the legendary Lionel Petersen is BACK!!! If you’ve been wondering where the South African music minister has been, Chevelle gets him on the remix of Peace with a fusion of South African vocal signature and the Jamaican music. You cannot get enough of this song in a hurry, I tell you that much!
Track 7: FIRE
This Dancehall song spits FIRE and Chevelle got Africa’s sweetheart Frank Edwards on this one, a collaboration that assures an amazing tune.
About the content of the song, they explain that you do not have to talk tongues to get the Holy Ghost presence wherever you are, you can do it with this song. No water can quench this kind of fire, it is not meant for your enemies, it is meant to transform you and put you on your feet for Jesus.
Track 8: BEEN GOD
Chevelle has experienced God’s goodness and she puts it in a song. The Zulu-like song ‘Been Good’ sees the reggae gospel singer express her gratitude for all that God has done for her and mentions that she won’t forget in a hurry what the Lifter of her head has done for her.
Produced and mixed in South Africa, some parts of the song contain South African dialect. And though you might not understand what it means, it still connects to the soul.
Track 9: I HAVE A FATHER
Yes! Another ‘Naijamaican’ track!!! Chevelle is definitely a lover of Nigeria and the many sounds that characterizes her music. She reaffirms her love for Nigeria with this medley track, a great repertoire compilation of mainstream Nigerian gospel songs.
With some help from Pastor Donnie McClurkin who is a frequent face at Nigerian gospel music events, she turned up the praise Naija style!
I am done wondering how foreign singers sing our words and do it so well. Una biko with this one… If you know what I mean
Track 10: WALK ON WATER
I found a theme song for this Album the moment I heard this 3-minutes plus track. When she said WALK ON WATER, she meant every word. The soul genre in which this song is expressed makes it sink in the more as you listen. The cool blend of violin, shakers and the breathy delivery of the background vocals makes it awesome.
Chevelle drove in her points as her vocals soars briskly high above in this track, whatever you do, “Don’t you take your eyes off Jesus”.
Track 11: AFRICA
Africa is a feel good song about the beauty of Africa, its people and the richness of its resources. She shares all she had heard of Africa long before she ever got to set her feet on its soil and has dreamed of seeing the place and eventually she travelled miles across the ocean to sing her songs to Africa. She describes how emotional it was for her the first time she stepped in Africa.
It sounded from the start like a jazz infused salsa tune but transitioned into smooth reggae; cool to rock along to. Its vocal delivery is sweet mixed with sultry, soothing but strong. I can imagine Chevelle decked head-to-toe African attire in a stage performance of this song. I give this one a go and by the way, Chevelle, Africa loves you too.
Track 12: FI ME
Ever feel like sleeping under the influence of a song? This is that song, FI ME, just REST in the assurance that God is FOR YOU… Chevelle went Patwa on this one but did it in a soulful rendition of a song that assures you that God is for her and she won’t let Him go. For this, she sure wants the world to know how she feels.
The acoustic has a smooth spine relaxing guitar tune that best expresses the essence of this song. She bit every word with as much conviction as the meaning of the song. This is the first time I hear a Jamaican singer interpret her sound the crispiest way possible with their language.
Track 13: WORTHY IS THE LAMB
Worthy Is The Lamb is a song about Jesus, the Lamb of God. It talks about all that Jesus did to save us.
Why do I feel like this song would be a lot better if it was done in another genre? Don’t get me wrong, Chevelle’s songs are always delivered at optimum. Reggae is just not doing it for me on this song.
I love the lyrics by the way, I love her voice and the message is profound.
Track 15: NO FOREIGN GOD
Classic! This is one song I believe will attain the “Evergreen” status over time. I sank in this worship anthem from the first time I heard it. She was expressive on this one. The message is clear – There is no god like Our God. No one can EVER take His place.
You can feel Chevelle’s very pulse just listening to this song. She takes you to the very realm she was in when she dropped this song in the recording. It takes you on a journey from start to finish. This will make a good addition to your worship playlist.
Track 16: TAKE ALL THE GLORY
This sounds like a song for the Church, not just for Chevelle who returns all the “GLORY TO JESUS”. It is a memorable worship tune which intends to take you deep in reverence to the One who helps us win all our trophies. This 5 minute, 18 seconds long track has a direct message to the One whom all glory is meant for - Jesus.
Track 17: WE WAIT
This song is the very essence of this Album. Yes! Franklyn waited for the SET TIME to release this awesome body of work and I promise you would not but agree with me when you listen to these songs to know the wait was worth it.
We Wait is a heart cry for the presence of God to guide us; never making any decision unless we are certain of being in sync with the Holy Spirit. I love the simplicity of the music; it makes room for me to concentrate on the lyrics of the song. Nonetheless, I enjoy the vocals, bass line and of course the drums, it is so seamless.
Track 18: GOOD SHEPHERD MOJO-AFRO MIX
This is the Remiiiiiixxxx to Track 3 (Good Shepherd). It’s the last track, perfect for a memorable ending. The dancehall groovy song which has Israel Houston featured in it fits perfectly for a party playlist. It’s likely to get a welcome nod from mainstream media as well. What a groovy and edifying jam!.
Sorry, but I love the Mojo-Afro version more!
Get yourself a copy of “Set Time” album by Chevelle Franklyn by clicking HERE
Reviewed by: Tomisin Onipede
Twitter: @TomisinE_O | Instagram: @tomisinerinle_o
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