Review of " No Regrets" CD by Carmen J. Prince
Artist: Carmen J. Prince Album: No Regrets Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh
The field of gospel music is, at many times, a muddied one. The genre is littered with numbers of artists, each of which who attempt to stake their claim on declaring the gospel. And for every Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, or Dorinda Clark-Cole that steps to the microphone, there are virtually hundreds more clamoring at their backs, hoping to achieve the same level of success. Add to that the tons of choirs involved as well and you know you’re swimming in deep waters.
It’s into these proverbial waters that newcomer Carmen J. Prince enters into with her debut recording, No Regrets. Hailing from New Orleans and boasting a voice that’s been honed since the age of three, singing with her parent’s group, Prince brings to bear a history of music that encompasses everything from gospel and jazz to hip-hop and R & B. A recent transplant to New York, Prince offers up this album with “no regrets.”
And frankly, there’s very little on this record to regret.
Prince’s sound sets itself off at first listen with a quality production. The vocals are engineered and mixed nicely and the instrumental arrangements are all top-notch. Background vocalists stay to the back of the mix just right and Prince’s voice is to the front but not so much that it overwhelms the overall performance.
Yet, it’s in Prince’s overall delivery where the praises really deserve to land.
The album’s first track, appropriately titled “Sing,” kicks things off with a very chill vibe, letting subtle rhythm lead Prince and Co. down a road of praise and worship. The title track, “No Regrets,” takes things in a more upbeat direction, recalling old-school Blu Cantrell with its keen pop sensibilities. This is the kind of track that could land itself on mainstream radio, let alone a good Christian R & B station.
“Again” delivers some more subdued feelings, showcasing some unique instrumentals with horns and woodwinds in the background. The song does suffer a bit from its length, stretching just shy of six minutes, which tends to find it overextending it’s welcome. But “Never 2 Late” rights the ship with its bumping jam and hip-hop inspired flow that gets toes tapping and recalls something from Mary or Trim-I-Tee 5:7. “U Told Em” changes up the beat but keeps the tone high while “Longing” slows things back down, showcasing some nice vocal melodies.
Prince’s New Orleans heritage really shines with “My Love Song,” which brings to bear both jazz and R & B notes followed by the more pop-friendly “Submissive.” “Waiting” follows that up with more jazz influenced vocals but, much like “Again,” tends to overstay its welcome without enough tweaks to keep listeners engaged till the very end.
“The Blood” delivers mid-tempo delight while “Be Encouraged” carries things along some peppy lines with seemingly autobiographical lyrics. “Let the Praises Ring” has an old school pop vibe to it, recalling some of the great vocal groups of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and album closer “Hide Me” is a neatly programmed radio-friendly package, with some killer beats and smooth vocal work.
If one were to criticize anything on Prince’s debut, it would lie in the lack of overly original or creative compositions and arrangements. Prince can surely sing and, as mentioned, this record boasts very high production quality. Yet, on so many of these tracks, you’re just waiting for that next step up, the next big moment. You know it’s within Prince but, sadly, it never transpires here, save for the solid flashes throughout.
With that said, however, Carmen J. Prince’s debut, No Regrets, is still very much and album worthy of listening to. Prince delivers a solid mash-up of gospel, R & B, and jazz here with a professional sounding production. While a few hiccups occur here and there, there’s no doubt about it: Carmen J. Prince is a voice worthy to be heard.
Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh
Rating: 3.5 Stars (out of 5)
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NO REGRETS PRESS RELEASE
BREAKOUT GOSPEL ARTIST, CARMEN J. PRINCE-JACKSON,
RELEASES WITH HER SPECIAL EDITION CD “NO REGRETS”
PENSACOLA, FL – (May 28, 2011) – Carmen J. Prince-Jackson, a new breakout Gospel artist, has re-released the Special Edition of her debut CD, No Regrets.
On this special edition released on May 20th, she has included four additional tracks from her “Stir Up the Gifts Mixtape, Volume 1) “Open Your Heart,” “Church Folks,” “That’s Right,” and “Found Me.” If you listen to these new tracks, you will probably here some familiar tunes of some hit Hip-Hop and R&B artists like Dr. Dre and Cash Money Crew. Previously released in 2008, No Regrets included 13 jazzy and soulful tracks that truly showcase the New Orleans native’s vocal artistry and versatility. Some of the standout tracks include: Longing, Waiting, My Love Song and the title track.
Since the age of three, Prince-Jackson has been singing with her parents who were a duo in the 80s and 90s. Being from a musical background Prince-Jackson is deeply rooted in Gospel, R&B, Classical, Jazz, and many other genres. She has written over a thousand songs, several hundred poems, and many short stories. She feels that God is love and she tries to pour out the love of God on people through her music. Everything about Prince is musically inclined including her first name which in Spanish means 'song'.
She has also recently released her first literary book called Ugly Thorns on Beautiful Flowers and is the host of one of the hottest radio shows to hit the airwaves, “The Gospel Truth on Carmen’s Corner” on BlogTalkRadio.com airing Mondays and Fridays at 7:00pm (Central Standard Time).
Prince-Jackson has already gained praise in New Orleans and surrounding areas for her powerful testimony and ministry.