By Coko | Light Records
Cheryl “Coko” Clemons continues her smooth move into gospel music with her latest album, The Winner in Me. After earning a Grammy nomination with her 2006 solo debut release, Grateful, the fromer lead singer of platinum recording trio Sisters With Voices (SWV) is quickly solidifying her place in the genre.
Several guests join Coko, including Canton Jones on the upbeat “You Made a Way.” Listeners will enjoy the faith-filled statements as well as Jones’ occasional rap phrases. Israel Houghton fans will be thrilled to hear him on “The Joy of the Lord.” Kelly Price adds her talents on “Oh Mary,” and Lady Tibba helps out on “Renew My Mind.”
The title track, “Winner in Me,” is the artist’s most personal song. After leaving SWV, Coko admits to feeling lost and didn’t know how to move on. “But something pushed me forward,” she said. “That was Jesus pushing me forward … that was the winner in me.” Though written from personal experience, the tune takes on a universal message by reminding us that we are not alone and can always rely on Jesus to carry us on.
The message of “Let Me Go” is powerful and clear, but the vocals get a bit tiresome with the overlays and echoes, which almost seem to clash harmonically. Coko is at her best on the church-anthem tracks, including the rousing “Wait,” recorded with Youthful Praise. The clear and distinct vocals deliver powerfully the encouragement that we need to wait on the Lord.
At times the arrangements seem to overwhelm the lyrics, but Coko delivers a faith-filled, transparent album that gospel music fans will surely enjoy.
Click here to purchase The Winner in Me.