Production value: check.
Fresh factor: check.
Signature sound: check.
These are the vital signs of “From Now On” (Light Records), the new career-reviving CD from Dawkins and Dawkins.
It’s now been 10 years since blood brothers Eric and Anson recorded as a duo after their former label Harmony Records dissolved.
Fortunately, for Dawkins and Dawkins, fans have not forgotten “Focus” (their last studio release recorded in 1998) that had a sound that was before its time and traces of it have remained. (With its street-friendly grooves, Focus, landed in the Top 200 on the Billboard chart and yielded the hit songs “Wrapped Up,” “Praisin’ on My Mind,” and “Need To Know.”) This time around listeners can expect more of the same with a few musical twists.
Eric said, “We’re raising the bar with elements that our fans are expecting to hear, but also stepping into some areas that we haven’t ventured into before, i.e. pop and rock that will no doubt place us in other arenas.”
The CCM tinged “Can You Hear Me?” from the 16-track recording has the most potential to appeal to new ears. But the album’s overall tone has the urban zest of its lead single “Get Down,” –a command to pray when life gets overwhelming–which has a beat that induces perpetual head bobbing.
The PKs (who are only one year apart in age) started singing gospel when they were knee-high, but neither are strangers to diverse music genres. During their hiatus, Anson became the College and Career Pastor at Life Center Church, in Tacoma, WA, a setting that prefers a contemporary Christian style of worship. Eric picked up songwriting and producer credits in mainstream music, working with leading R&B and pop entertainers Ruben Studdard, Tyrese, Tank, Chris Brown and Christina Aguilera.
Bringing the message of the project into focus, Anson said, “‘From Now On’ is a declaration of faith, a commitment to live a life that makes room for God to be God. It serves to remind us that we are to do all that we can while letting God do only what He can.”
He describes the songs as “truthful” and the singing as “passionate” adding, “We hope it will encourage, inspire, and birth a faith in the greatest man that ever lived … Jesus … The faith to follow Him for life.”
And Dawkins and Dawkins undoubtedly hope to re-establish their position as the inventors of “Rhythm and Praise,” a style that blazed a trail in contemporary gospel music.