G.I.: Winning (Shanachie)


G.I. (Gods Image) is a three piece contemporary Gospel group from Richmond, Virginia. Founded back in 1997 by brothers Branden and Marlon Anderson, the current line-up is Branden Anderson, Rufus Johnson and Lamonte Harris. The sound of G. I. is unashamedly urban – the sound of contemporary R&B and soul. Lamonte explains: “We’ve always had an urban sound. We always keep up with the times in terms of what’s hot in urban music but for this record we decided on a more urban approach than most of the gospel community. We asked “what’s happening now that can give us another edge?””

The album’s title track sums up the sound of the long player. It’s totally contemporary and the message – “winning” is the album’s theme. The trio suggest that the album is all about winning – the need to win in every aspect of your life – in your spiritual life, in your job or in your relationship. And therein is the album’s attraction for modern soul fans. Sure it’s a gospel set and that categorization might well put off non believers (it usually does). But the themes and messages of ‘Winning’ can, as the band suggest, be applied to other, non-spiritual relationships; so the advice is to investigate and you’ll discover some mighty fine contemporary soul music- whether you believe or not.

Case in point is the delightful ballad that is ‘In Love With You’ which features a cameo from the lovely Keke Wyatt. In love with your god or in love with your partner, it matters little – just enjoy the soul herein. Other album highlights include ‘Pray And Don’t Worry’ (which comes in its original format and in an acoustic version) and a cover of the Winans’ 1984 jam ‘Trust In God’ on which the trio show their vocal prowess.

G.I.s ‘Winning’ is out now.

(BB) 3/5