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Richie Stephens Impresses on New Album ?Take Me Away?

Richie Stephens' latest album Take Me Away has arrived in time for Valentine's Day. The self-styled 'love specialist' comes correct and delivers the goods on this engaging effort. Just one look at the red and white colours of the album jacket and you get a hint as to what is in store. Love songs non-stop.

Stephens has come a long way since his days at Motown Records. He once sang with the British funk-soul outfit Soul II Soul, and he tasted international success when his vocals guided songs like Joy and Body Slam onto the international charts.

Take Me Away is the 12th album from Stephens and it is by far his best album to date. Decked with 14 nuggets, the album showcases Stephens' growth not only as an artiste, but also as a producer and songwriter.

The first track Strength of Your Love which speaks about loneliness, is a nice opening. Memories, which features Pam Hall on background vocals, Love You Like That, Its Time (which features one time regular beauty contest entrant Terri Garrison), the haunting title ballad Take Me Away (with Heather Cummings), the amusing Screechy Joe, this writer's personal favourite Love Me Forever, and Baby I Want You Back are what make this album worth getting .

The production is tight. The musicians who include Dean Fraser, Dalton Browne, Othniel Lewis, Clifton Clarke, Michael Kennedy, Courtney Panton, and Ray Hitchings are also to be commended for injecting their talents into this worthwhile project. Take Me Away, which is distributed in Jamaica through All Access Entertainment in Central Plaza, is a definite musical companion.

Source: Kevin Jackson, Observer

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