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I Wanna Believe in You 
Artist: Rhonda Towns 
Label: Dawn Records
Length: 10/30:10

In Rhonda Towns, we have a seemingly rare phenomenon: an African-American woman who sings old school country music.   Not only that, but she happens to do it quite well.  Picture Halle Berry's younger sister singing Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline songs and you begin to get the idea.

"Somethin' Better" is the single, done in a twangy, Reba McEntire vocal.  The title track is solid, and an _a capella _version of "The Lord's Prayer" is the album's centerpiece.  "Plenty More Love" and "I've Heard the Wind Blow Before" are more in a Tammy Wynette vein, while "Storm Before the Calm" mixes things up, showing a more contemporary side to Towns' voice.   "Those Were the Nights" is a sultry, almost torch like track.  "Slow Rain" is written by Dobie Gray of "Drift Away" fame.

Towns' vocals are strong throughout, and have a familiar ring to them she has appeared on Star Search, and in a plethora of commercials, not to mention performing as Whitney Houston's stand in "Waiting to Exhale".   She blends her gospel roots with country western stylings common forty years ago, and the results usually works.  

Brian A. Smith
30 September 2006 



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