Charles Laster II and Silvia Pratesi â€“ Journey of Life / 2007 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.charleslasterministries.com /
Charles Laster II has been around the gospel scene for a number of years, but even before that, was crafting jingles for Ford Motors and songs for the Detroit Pistons. The other half of this act, Silvia Pratesi, cam to composing music much later â€“ in 2007, but by the time that â€œJourney of Lifeâ€ ends â€“ individuals will be convinced that these two have been making music together for decades. The discâ€™s opening song (the title track) sets the stage for the rest of the disc in that it provides individuals with an interesting new take on gospel music. The inclusion of a classic string arrangement gives the gospel / R&B style put forth by Laster that much more energy. The unique composition present on this opening track will keep individuals focused on the following tracks, as well as to introduce listeners to Laster and Pratesiâ€™s style.
The second track on â€œJourney of Lifeâ€ is â€œI Believeâ€, and the song does a good job of innovating while continuing to play on many of the same influences and styles broached during the opening track. The few seconds that the track is instrumental provides listeners with evidence that all pieces of Laster and Pratesiâ€™s collaboration, instead of just the vocals, are stellar. â€œI Believeâ€ keeps a high momentum through the inclusion of brass on the instrumental side and a rap interlude on the vocal side. The eclectic sound of Laster and Pratesi during this track destroys any perceptions that listeners come to, and show the act as always changing, always trying to find the strongest possible sound.
This dedication to the perfection of their music continues during â€œIn My Mindâ€, where Laster and Pratesi craft a slower, more jazz-influenced track. Laster and Pratesi even add a little bit of â€œNew York Minuteâ€-era Eagles to the mix, further strengthening the track. Each track on â€œJourney of Lifeâ€ provides listeners with a different facet of Laster and Pratesi. By the time that â€œI Feel The Powerâ€ ends the album, individuals will have little idea where the act will go for their next album. The one thing that listeners will know is that their next album will be an impressive work that seeks to change the common perceptions of gospel and modern R&B.Â With such a diverse array of tracks on an album, most acts would suffer an identity crisis by the fifth or sixth track. The ability of Laster and Pratesi on â€œJourney of Lifeâ€ is enough that each foray into the unknown makes the resulting disc that much stronger.
Top Tracks: True Love, I Believe