Konai Adelphe
Independent (release date: April 25, 2018)

By Robert M. Marovich

Taking their name from the Greek term for “equal sister,” Knoxville, Tennessee, female quintet Konai Adelphe (pronounced Ko-nigh A-del-fay) lives up to their name in sound and core beliefs.

First the sound: Konai Adelphe is a liltingly-sweet singing group that eschews gospel’s trademark vocal fireworks and improvisational moments for a smooth pop sound. On the other hand, several songs on their 2018 album Everybody contain a snarling rock guitar and an insistently bouncy rhythm section. You hear this mix in particular on “Army of God,” a hypnotic call to holy arms.

Next, the core beliefs: the swaggering hook-laden title track declares the oneness of humanity and our obligation to treat our neighbor with that in mind. The optimistic “Always Put Your Trust in God” has a lovely melody and is a most suitable selection for choirs and small groups.

While other gospel artists sing about stomping on the devil’s head (I’m looking at you, Shekinah Glory Ministry), Konai Adelphe goes pyrotechnic, blowing sin up on “Boom.” To affecting chord changes and harmonies, “Come Home” is essentially an altar call. “What will it take for you to come home?” the ladies sing. “The door is open.”

The members of Konai Adelphe are more vocally confident harmonizing together than as lead singers, though one of the members evokes the Stylistics’ falsetto lead Russell Thompkins, Jr. Several lyric lines are culled from well-trodden church clichés, but otherwise, Everybody benefits from superb production, great guitar and piano work (the latter especially on “He Lives”) and a peaceful, easy feeling from the quintet.

Three of Five Stars

Picks: “Everybody,” “Next Generation”

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.