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sistaz with voices (and a message)

All Because of You (Sparrow)
Lisa Bevill

Lovin' the Day (Goree Records)

Out of Eden

For fans of the urban contemporary "sistaz-with-voices" thing, these two new Christian releases are on the right track, undeniably cold and bold.

All Because of You is Lisa Bevil1's second album, an outstanding blend of dance/hip-hop styles and first-rate production courtesy of Tommy Sims and Charlie Peacock. Although Bevill has had past success in the secular market (scoring a hit with Sergio Mendez), she is not ashamed of her love for her Creator, as evidenced on "Sunshine and Joy" and "Hold On" (which features vocal support from Angelo and Veronica). "Don't Keep Heaven" is an unusual, bombastic cut with Zeppelin-sampled drumbeats and harmonica supplanted over a thunderous bassline.

There are a few slower-paced songs that showcase Bevill's star-diva vocal dynamics, such as "Never Could" and "Trouble the Waters."

"A river flows out of Eden to water the garden..." (Genesis 2:10), And it ows out unto this debut disc by Out of Eden, a trio of talented teenage sisters. Produced by Toby McKeehan from D.C. Talk, Lovin' the Day has an extremely cool '70s groove rolling beneath the modern-day beats.

Although the sisters (aged 14 through 18) lack the maturity to totally pull off the slower jams, their sound is sweet and fresh. They simmer on the more uptempo songs such as "Good Thing," "Come and Take My Hand" and the Christian radio hit "Lovely Day." Lots of fun little raps and harmonic interludes between cuts make Lovin' the Day a good package all the way through.

Fans of En Vogue, Janet Jackson, Brandy and T.L.C. should find either (or both) of these discs enjoyable and positive. So now that you know, check 'em out (and be sure to tell somebody!).

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