VIA GOSPEL PUNDIT:
The long-awaited debut solo project from Sheri Jones-Moffett, Renewed, hit stores on Tuesday, August 11th. Known for her memorable leads with Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers (”Encourage Yourself”) and as one-half of the gospel duo, Ted & Sheri, she finally ventures out as a solo artist and stakes her claim as a versatile artist with great promise.
The album opens with the hit single and title track, “Renewed,” a great song with an old skool, 70’s vibe to it (think disco meets gospel). Sheri wastes no time reminding us why we fell in love with her powerful soprano tone as she masterfully soars over the track.
The project continues with another dance-worthy track (and probably my favorite on the album)– “Free Indeed,” which has a pop/sock-hop kinda feel to it. It’s hard to describe, but I’ll try: it’s HOT! Renewed then transitions into some encouraging ballads– ”Not Too Late To Dream” and “Grace Of God”– before arriving at the CLUB BANGIN’ joint “Wonder” (that can be a Holy Ghost club, if it makes you feel better).
Other noteworthy tracks are ”I Feel Your Spirit,” a Sunday-morning-devotional type of song infused with a New Orleans flavor, and ”Affirmation,” a beautiful piano-driven worship ballad that brilliantly caps off the project.
The only readily-apparent challenge that Sheri might face with this project is that I perceive her fanbase to be comprised of consumers who love to hear her on traditional-sounding songs like “Encourage Yourself” (which is, by the way, an added bonus track on this project). Sheri is not wed to that sound here, though– as noted above, she experiments with lots of different musical influences and styles to express herself.
That said, the album is still cohesive. The songs are well-written and Sheri’s performances are MUCH more than commendable. If you consider yourself a fan of hers, appreciate that she’s able to successfully branch out to other gospel styles. And if you’re not already a supporter– take a listen. I think you will be.