Photo courtesy of Sensere Facebook
For generations, the music of Earth, Wind & Fire has been a lifeline of inspiration for musicians of all genres and styles. Because of their commercial success and immeasurable range – including jazz, pop, Latin, funk, soul, Afro pop and disco - the “mighty mighty people of the sun” stand out as torchbearers of musical excellence. And so it’s no surprise to witness the elements of these legendary Rock & Rock Hall of Fame inductees being re-introduced in the latest single coming from super gospel band Sensere.
Covering the dexterous Maurice White/Verdine White/Eddie del Barrio composition of “Fantasy” in any form imaginable is quite ambitious and daunting, but it’s a task that the 11-member ensemble takes on with lots of love in their hearts. “I think in this time we need songs that inspire,” says James “Jdubb” Wright, the band founder and lead guitarist. “During the 70s, ‘Fantasy’ was an uplifting and inspiring song that helped people get through all of the police violence, racism and everything else that came along. Being that our new album is entitled RISE UPand we are still tackling real life issues, we believe the song fits for the state of the world today. And musically, for us as a band, the song is genius.”
The choice of song makes perfect sense on the Miami-based band, considering their previous flights into funky jazz (“Do It”), quartet-dipped reggae (“Been Good”) and brassy contemporary gospel (“Win”). The track features all four of their dynamic vocalists (Brian Williams, Levi Knowles, Mike Murray and Ronnie VOP) in most capacities, but the lion share of the lead vocals are carried by the strong falsetto stylings of Ronnie VOP. His performance on the verses and closing freestyle moments inside this four-minute gem mirrors Phillip Bailey’s iconic vocals of the original, even nailing the operatic ad-libs at the very end. And by paying homage to the rhythm arrangements of the 1977 R&B classic, Sensere hits all the right notes. It's a buoyant cover that’s sure to impress and captivate listeners beyond gospel audiences.
Take a ride on this ship of “Fantasy” and let us know your “sincere” thoughts on the cover.
By J Matthew Cobb
Sensere - "Fantasy"