The Junior Virtue is Here!
[Originally posted on Amazon.com, December 13, 2006]
Arguably the younger version of Virtue, V3 burst on the gospel music scene this summer as a fresh-faced trio of sisters from Atlanta. LaToya, Shelley, and Sacha Vinson aim “to be real” with young listeners through their debut album, which is a blend of traditional and contemporary gospel, and mainstream pop and R&B.
God’s perfect love emerges as the main theme in this collection. The eclectic groove of “Let Go” opens the album with a burst of energy as the girls admonish their listeners to release worry and give their cares to God. The lush ballads of “Love Makes The World Beautiful,” “I Need You,” and “Thank You” showcase the ladies ability to emotively interpret beautiful melodies, and the neo-soul moodiness of “Irreplaceable” and “Have You Ever” leave the listener in a state of deep contemplation.
The only noticeable missteps in this collection are “Take Me There” and “Let’s Take It.” “Take Me There” adopts the current Atlanta sound (think Ciara’s “Get Up”) from vocal delivery to the lyrics. Though it’s catchy, “Take Me There,” with its minimalistic beats and disposable pop/R&B feel, fails to help V3 maintain its artistic originality. In the same vein, “Let’s Take It” sounds like and updated version of Virtue’s “Take It By Force,” but it’s not as engaging or lyrically strong.
With Latoya and Sacha both co-writing some of the album’s songs and receiving production help from Double Dutch (Antonio, and Josiah Bell & Robert Marvin), the album retains a consistent sound and vibe, pleasant from beginning to end. On the heels of Trin-i-tee 5:7, the disbanded Out of Eden, and the now defunct Ramiyah, V3 take the reigns of urban gospel and follow along the worn path of an ambivalent genre.