Briana Babineaux affectionately known as “Bri” has entered into the music industry making quite the noise with her newly released album “Keys To My Heart”. Now I must admit, I hadn’t heard of her until maybe the last couple of months ago when it was announced that Marquise Boone had signed her to his independent label. Shortly after that, she released her lead single, “I’ll Be the One” (Track 4) which did well on radio and download sales. To be honest on today’s Gospel Music scene we are overly saturated with music (some good and some not so good) so to me the single didn’t stick out to me as anything any better than the other music that was out at the time. This caused me to approach listening to her LP with bit of skepticism.
Contrary to what I expected, I must say the album was surprisingly good.
Firstly, let’s start with the lyrics. If you are going to produce a quality album you need to be able to take the listener on a journey using the message of each track. Furthermore, if you going to produce a Gospel Album, the message should be even the more inspiring and Bri did just that delivering us great lyrics.
As an accompaniment to the lyrics, her vocals come across as true to who she is. She doesn’t give us a lot of riffs, runs and tricks. I believe she sung each song from a true place within herself, which makes her message and the album as a whole organic and believable. Her vocals don’t feel forced or contrived, but smooth, not getting in the way of the message or the quality of production.
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Now I must say, that the one issue I have with this album is that her tracks are too long. After a while of listening to the songs it began to be overkill. In today’s world of constant distraction with text messages, phone calls, social media notification and deadlines the listener can easily tune out a track or two.
Secondly, this album is WAY TOO SERIOUS. In light of perseverance, her core audience, and the album being released at the beginning of the spring/summer season where listeners want lighter uptempo music, I’m surprised that we were only served with slow to moderate praise and worship music. I’m afraid by doing that she will isolate herself to only the audience that she already has and hinder her growth to new fans.
Bri, next time give us a head banger or two and we’ll love you for it!
Thirdly, I question the direction of the album cover ONLY because the messaging is not in alignment with the type of music she is singing.
All and all I give this album a VincentSPEAKS 3.5 star rating!