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Experience 101

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Album Review

Sweet Honey in the Rock's reputation as an exemplary vocal ensemble steeped in African choral traditions and backed by rhythmic percussion dates back to the 1970s. Some 30 years later, the group's basic approach and rich harmonic sense remain intact. On Experience...101 Sweet Honey in the Rock bring their vocal prowess to bear on children's music, delivering an ambitious program of original and occasionally older songs. With intertwining voices, multi-part arrangements, and rhythmic underpinning, songs like "4 U 2 Know as U Grow" and "Education Is the Key" are really catchy. Six voices/musicians — Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Aisha Kahlil, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Carol Lynn Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Arnae — provide Sweet Honey in the Rock with a potentially diverse foundation. The foundation, however, is frequently limited by relying on similar structures from song to song, which means that while an individual song like "When I Grow Up" may be quite catchy by itself, it is too similar rhythmically to "All I Have to Do." This factor, plus the preachy quality of certain songs, mars an otherwise beautifully sung album. These faults, however, will probably matter little to young listeners or liberal-minded adults, who will find, respectively, the intoxicating soundscape and politically correct lyrics on Experience...101 easy to like. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Experience 101

Once again the Sweet Honey melody and message mesmerizes the members of the world community with deep a richness that soothes, inspires and satiates our need for positive songs in our lives. Their music for children and adults propels us to take action while reminding all of past atrocities and hope for future glory by striving to be and do our best. And that is something For Us 2 Know as We grow. The reminder that we are in the school of life is evident. Thank you again for the lesson: Experience 101

Check out "Right Now"

This is a good collection; and my personal favorites are "All I Have to Do," Right Now," "Trust," "Me is We," and "Graditude." “Right Now” is like having all of my aunties form a circle around me after a difficult day at work. Okay. My aunties have never (nor will ever) encourage me on a rough day; but if they did, I’m sure it would sound like this song:-)

Experience...101

Having seen Sweet Honey in the Rock in concert, it is easy to picture their stage presence as they perform each of these tracks. Their harmonies are always on-the-money and highly creative. They need a broader "genre" label than "Christian-Gospel." Perhaps "World Music."

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Washington D.C.

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

These days, the voice as a dominant instrument is finding new favor among music lovers. The group that has been central to this development within the contemporary music scene is a quintet of electrifying...
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Experience 101, Sweet Honey In the Rock
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