Change is not the easiest of ventures to embark upon. Whatever the consequence the is set to educe,we goad ourselves into thinking we aren’t ready for any switch yet. Definitely not for someone with an hyper-active gene like Tye Tribbett! You can only imagine how he’d perform as a secret agent in a thriller movie, like Denzel Washington. At the very least, he wouldn’t be expected to out-perform the eccentricity of another maverick, but a musical-version of, Jim Carrey. But you just never know!
But when the news of his personal flaws falls onto the unforgiving laps of the media,the metamorphosis is abrupt. This redemptive pruning process of change and deliverance had to begin from his marriage, to his musical ministry, and back to his personal life. Tye’s fourth album release Fresh, comes on the aftermath of this period of turmoil. With a new message of grace and new beginning, “Fresh means restored, new creature and it’s my announcement that nothing is the same,” Tye declares, “my thinking, my business, my patterns, everything is new.”
Since hitting the big scene, Tye had gained worldwide acclaim with the now defunct youthful group, The Greater Anointing. They had focussed solely on gospel and motivating the younger generation. Then, The success of Life was bolstered to the Billboard Top 10 Gospel Album chart with the infectious singles “No Way” and “Everything.” Victory Live! entered the Billboard Top Gospel Album chart at #1, generated the #1 Gospel Radio single, “Victory,” and earned Tribbett two Stellar Award wins and three Grammy nominations — Best Gospel Performance (“Victory“); Best Gospel Song (“Victory“); and Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. With his third instalment Stand Out (2008) entering the Billboard Gospel chart at #1, Tye further propelled the goodness of God with his musical message.
Little did he realize, change would ever need to come, or the need to undergo any spiritual-internal-surgery. Tye moved through a dark period that led to thoughts of suicide. It was here when he acknowledged he moved far away from his foundation. Tye recalls, “I turned away from God and as soon as I turned back around He was ready to receive me, and I learned God does not hold grudges at all.” He had to start everything afresh by getting rid of the ‘old’ and take on the ‘new’ which would involve a renewed sensibility.
With Fresh Tye is clear, the direction of the music and the ministry changed. “It’s opening a door you never opened before and walking through. It’s unfamiliar and new.” While Tye wrote and produced a majority of the album, he also solicited assistance from a small handful of talented individuals along the way for the very first time. “Fresh,” the first single and title track is a personal testimony. The uptempo celebratory dance jam produced by Pablo Vaillatoro of the Group One Crew sets forth a revived form of worship. Sonically, the pulsating rhythm of techno beats serve as the under-current to Tye’s almost auto-tune laden voice as he sings “you can’t even imagine what God has so fresh.”
Also from the Group One Crew, Manwell Reyes contributed as a writer and producer with the retro “All For You.” Surrendering to the process of being produced versus being the producer, the track excited Tye with its syncopated drum patterns, because it reaches beyond gospel.
Tye wrote and produced the first song that came during his lowest point in the wilderness, the aptly titled “Good.” The track echoes his youthful approach to praise and worship, with its drum pulses and guitar strums. Then the old soul with a bluesy swag, “Keep Me” which featured Isaac Caree. Inspired by his daughter catching two teenagers kissing on television, Tye provided gentle instruction on content for an age-appropriate audience.
Fresh featured also collaborative efforts from Israel Houghton, in the rendition of the praise tracks- the anthemic “Champion” and “Most High God”.
Going consecration and giving room for sober reflections “Your Blood (The Communion Song)” and “Take Over”, Tye performs this big sounding choir song reflecting his surrender to God. In the quiet mood comes, “You Alone” which is like a prayer. Subsequently “Holding On” sounds like the letter to God after the prayer. Echoing a solution for when life gets hard when everybody needs something to hold on to.” Fresh explored other genres that catches Tye’s fancy: even gritty rock!
Grateful for a second chance, and restored marriage, Tye Tribbett’s Fresh attempts to lead show the world of the essence of full transparency acknowledgement that God can change someone. This sixteen tracks on the candid Fresh album are reflective of Tye’s journey so far, and his continued desire to stay refreshed in the place in worship. I can duly say, “the outcome of his change was well worth it .”