Friday, July 22, 2011

Tre' Thomas - A Natural Contrast

Tre’ Thomas
A Natural Contrast

Born in New Orleans and a former member of the Howard University Gospel Choir, Tre’ Thomas grew up in church but prefers laid-back R&B to express his religious conviction. The ten tracks on Thomas’ debut album, A Natural Contrast, find him immersed in the quiet storm groove as he lays bare his soul to the listener.

Thomas’ cool, elastic and expressive R&B-infused voice is a blend of his musical influences, including Richard Smallwood, Eric Benet, and Luther Vandross. Naturally, then, he is at its best on the album’s worship ballads – love songs to the Most High – especially “My First Love” and the praise and worship “More than Anything.” “My First Love” finds Tre’ drifting well above the stave in wordless lines of improvisation that express his adoration for God, an adoration for which he can find no adequate words.

In keeping with the album title, Thomas turns the temperature up on the rock guitar-driven “All Things,” a song about keeping the faith and trusting in God. At one point in the selection, his voice sounds like an Indian pungi (snake charmer instrument) as he improvises in auto-tune. “Imagine” continues down the same lyrical line of reasoning by declaring that if one lives right, God will take care of the rest.

Thomas, who has sung background for Tye Tribbett, Ted &Sheri, DeWayne Woods and Maurette Brown-Clark, seeks to break down barriers between gospel and secular sounds. “It doesn't matter what you do, just do whatever comes from your heart,” Thomas said. “But it is important to remember that we are all here for something other than ourselves.”

You can hear Thomas every Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET on his online radio show, LoveLudes, broadcast on the award-winning Bonnerfide Radio.

A Natural Contrast is a modern soundtrack to modern challenges with solutions that are time-tested.

Three of Five Stars

Picks: “All Things,” “More Than Anything.”

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