Reggae singer Sanchez was born Kevin Anthony Jackson in Kingston, Jamaica on November 30, 1964. A member of his church choir throughout adolescence, he became immersed in reggae while in high school, and was eventually named the selector for the local Rambo Sound System. In time, Sanchez turned to singing as well, and in 1987 issued his debut single "Lady in Red"; a year later, he scored a major hit with the Winston Riley-produced "Loneliness." Known for his silky vocals and penchant for pop covers (including a smash rendition of Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You"), his many albums include 1989's Number One, 1993's Tell It Like It Is, 1995's Praise Him, and 1999's True Identity. He released Songs from the Heart in mid-2000. His gospel album, He's Got the Power, would follow in 2003, while his 2010 effort Now and Forever was a return to secular music. Filled with cover versions of R&B classics, Love You More arrived in 2011.
© Jason Ankeny /TiVo
© Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Reggae - Released October 16, 2007 | VP Records
Sanchez, one of reggae's most prodigiously gifted dancehall crooners, seems to be laboring under a misapprehension: namely, that a devotion to Christianity and desire to record gospel songs means that he must largely turn his back on reggae rhythms in favor of schmaltzy gospel arrangements. He's Got the Power finds Sanchez splitting the difference almost evenly between the two styles, with the edge going to swelling gospel chord progressions, cheesy organ parts, and soft-focus synthesizer washes. At his best he combines muscular reggae and dancehall beats with equally uncompromising lyrical stances: "On My Knees," "I Believe," and the excellent "Medley" (which incorporates "It Soon Be Done," "I'll Fly Away," and "Oh Happy Day," among others) are examples of reggae gospel fusion at its best. His straight rendition of "Old Rugged Cross," on the other hand, brings nothing new to what has become a rather tired standard, nor do his versions of "One Day at a Time" or "Tis So Sweet" (on which Chevelle Franklin's considerable skills are wasted). The ska arrangement of "Across the Bridge" is fun, though. Overall, this album is something of a disappointment. © Rick Anderson /TiVo