Album review
The Man Upstairs
Richie Stephens
ERC Records
12 - 07 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Intro
  2. When I Sing For You
  3. Father I Love You
  4. He's Everything
  5. When I Pray
  6. Yamo Be There featuring A.J. Brown
  7. The Man Upstairs
  8. Talk To Jesus
  9. Remove These Clouds Of Darkness
  10. God Is Real
  11. Call His Name featuring Rodney Price a.k.a. Bounty Killer
  12. Remember God featuring Lt. Stitchie
  13. Dance For Jesus
  14. Worthy To Be Praised featuring D.Y.C.R.
  15. Safe With You featuring Mama Carmen
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Since he emerged during the mid-eighties 35 year old Richie Stephens - born Richard Stephenson - has touched the hearts of the ladies and moved bodies unto the dance floor. Starting with his debut single "So Amazing", actually a cover version of Luther Vandross' hit song, he has delivered a notable amount of chart-topping singles as well as 7 albums, including one for Motown Records in the USA. On his 8th gift, the self-produced cd "The Man Upstairs", this distinctive singer delivers songs of Christian praise directed at the burgeoning Gospel market. Blending a hybrid of reggae, ska, R&B and the words of life, namely the Gospel, Richie Stephens aims at moving the hearts of his fans towards the Lord. Just like for example Lt. Stitchie (also contributing on this set), Papa San, Barbara Jones and Donna Marie to name a few, Richie Stephens follows the trend of mainstream artists who reach deep within their souls and wake up to praise the most high God. Those who lend their ear to Richie find 15 inspiring tracks that range from personal introspection to solely words of praise. Each track is well arranged and benefits from the singer's impressive vocal delivery. Worth of hearing are the title track "The Man Upstairs", " Talk To Jesus", "Remove These Clouds Of Darkness", the foot-stomping "Dance For Jesus" and the combination tune with A.J. Brown entitled "Yamo Be There", the latter a solid rendition of one of James Ingram's coolest songs, the funky "Yah Mo B There", a hit duet with Michael McDonald.

Note : Part proceeds from this album will go towards the Committee Upliftment for the Mentally Ill (C.U.M.I.)

Teacher & Mr. T.