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MP3 LaTonya Williams - No Chains Allowed

"No Chains Allowed" R&B-tinged, jazz-infused, soul-stirring songs are ripe with rich harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics.

11 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, URBAN/R&B: Contemporary urban

In her debut release off the Strongtower Records label, this singer/songwriter/producer delivers with convincing clarity. R&B-tinged, jazz-infused melodies takes you on a wonderfully exhilarating ride creating a colorful backdrop to the vocal interplay. Each track is ripe with ingenious rich harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. The CD''s style boasts influences that run the musical gamut, all culminating on some selections into what one could only call "christian funk".

LaTonya Williams is fast emerging to be one of Oklahoma''s most compelling artists to hit the contemporary gospel music scene. She is garnering an excellent reputation as a live performer. Audiences experience her explosive energy, spontaneity and sincerity. She''s not afraid to get them [the audience] involved and they seem to relish the opportunity.

This singer/songwriter''s authentic style and colorful insight is expressed beautifully in her debut release "No Chains Allowed". With marked determination and fearless intentional lyrics, LaTonya delivers sublime messages of hope and encouragement. Her songs resonate with her audiences because they are gleaned from experience. She recounts the genesis of "Minus Love".

"For about three weeks,this partial melody,that I could neither get rid of nor complete, kept running through my head. During that time, my mother (who was very much vested in me)sat me down and boldly told me that I didn''t know how to love. She asked me to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 for a week (seven consecutive days). By the seventh day, I found myself on my knees in tears before God - acutely aware that I really did not know how to love - asking Him to teach me how. When I got up, that partial melody came into my head again only this time I finished it. `Minus love it adds up to nothing. Minus love it adds up to nothing. All my work is in vain. Got to start all again. Minus love it adds up to nothing.'' My mom has since passed away and this song is a reminder of her diligent prayer and passion for God''s guidance in my life and God honoring that prayer through my obedience. Thanks Mom."

LaTonya mirrors her mother''s passion in a song she wrote for her daughter. "If" is jazzy and reverent with a smooth gentle groove. It points the listeners to their heritage through their creator and explicitly reaffirms God''s love towards us.

"This Face", a blues-like (but not blue) battle cry, embodies her no-apologetic style. She sings, "I''ve been knocked down; but I''m not out. `Been pushed back; chalked it up to just another attack. I ain''t running to no hiding place. You better get used to this face." This song serves up luscious harmonies and captures Latonya''s distinctive mellifluous voice.

From battle cry to personal plea, the depth of LaTonya''s writing is poignant. It reaches towards the heart of the listener and we experience her more vulnerable side in selections such as "Let It Be Me", "Lord Remember Me" and "Love Was There". Though these songs depict internal and external conflicts, she is quick to remind that all hope is not lost if your hope is in Christ. This unswerving belief radiates through her rendition of the popular hymn "Just As I Am".

While "Calling Your Name" is viscerally emotional and leads you to a personal place of quiet soul-searching and reflection, the vivacious bass lines of "All Things" and
"I-N-V-I-TA-TION" entreat and eagerly direct you to a positive and upbeat frame of mind. "A Prayer Away" could be LaTonya''s signature song. It''s spirited, energized and encouraging - ripe with rich harmonies and full spunky vocals. In short, this song makes you move.

"I titled the album `No Chains Allowed'' because I wanted to express the freedom there is in serving Christ and invite others to join the party," LaTonya says. "For whom the Son has set free - he is free indeed."

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