Everlasting Love

by: CeCe Winans

For her second solo album, Cece Winans decided to record a full-fledged urban R&B/soul album, enlisting an impressive array of guest artists and collaborators -- including Keith Crouch, Tony Rich, Lauryn Hill, Diane Warren, Daryl Simmons and Tommy Sims -- to record Everlasting Love. All of the guest stars do nothing but enhance Winans' talents. There is no doubt this is her record, and she breathes life even into the weaker material. Fortunately, there isn't much that's weak on Everlasting Love. The songwriting is consistently classy, the production is polished without being slick, and Winans' voice simply soars. The only gospel inflections that remain are in her singing, as all of the songs, with the exception of Hill's direct, affecting "On That Day," have a distinct contemporary flavor. It's to Winans' credit that she flourishes in this setting and makes the album as personal as her gospel album Alone in His Presence. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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