Be it within the gospel circuits or secular R & B music zones, Bebe & CeCe Winans are one force to reckoned with. They are a brother and sister tag-team one dare not write-off as antiquated among the crème de la crème.
They need no lengthy warm-ups or titivation of some rusty pitches, though it’s been well over a decade since they last came together for a collaborative project. Their two previous chart topping multi-award winning albums, Different Lifestyles (1991) and Relationships (1994) were a huge success. On the heels of this pedigree they combine forces on a new project Still, a trademark Bebe & CeCe gamut.
Still is a sentimental fusion of other musical styles, highlighting terrains they’ve crossed individually through the decade. An eclectic mix of uptempo hooks and groovy rhythms blending nicely within a stream of soulful R & B-Pop, disco, some African rhythms, reggae grinds, and (of course) the unmistakable DNA of their music laced within a Gospel cocoon!
There’s little to be said of their double meaning style—a delectable blend of gospel and romantic connotations—as they tell their stories. Still, like their past projects, subtly gives a hint about the seasons of hurting,of love, pain, loss, regrets, the warmth and acceptance of family, appreciation and other social issues all cleverly warped around staying in tune with their spiritual walk with God.
With serenading tracks like “The Garden“, “Close to You”, “I Found Love” echoing the romantic notes within an eternal conversation. This simply brings to mind fresh memories of Cece’s Grammy winning intimate solo project Alone in His Presence.
Still showcased a shift from just the siblings collaborating but embraced friendship and family with the Campbell sisters’ “Mary Mary” and Cece’s Son featuring in a World Peace awareness single “Let it Be”, a thumping and MaryMary styled number.
My favourite number in this album still remains “Grace”. With the soft piano opening giving an effervescent tune that blends with the buttery worshiping voices; the penetrating effect of the percussion and acoustic strumming makes you feel translated as though in paradise. The message being Grace; how else would one be able to stand justified, and live a life free of guilt but gratefulness for Divine privileges: were it not for Amazing Grace!
No doubt Still will turn out to be a long-term blessing even through to another decade to come. Hopefully the siblings wouldn’t stay longer in hibernation next time.
2. Close to You
8. The Garden