Review Rating: 4.2/5.0
Stellar Award nominated husband and wife duo Lionel & Leslie released their new EP, Grateful, late last year (October 15, 2020). The pair takes listeners on a journey through love, peace, and hope pairing their messages with an easy listening style. The EP features their celebrated first single, “Praise Him,” alongside five additional tracks – “Grateful,” “I AM,” “Love Changes Things,” “Rescue Me,” and “Back To You.” Long-term listeners of Lionel & Leslie see this EP as a welcomed return with fresh content, while new listers are attracted to this introduction.
The overall sound of this EP is hard to describe in just one word. The listener will experience nods to gospel, R&B, and jazz as they move through the six tracks, making it a notably expansive and far-reaching project that welcomes a large audience. Pairing with the musicality, Lionel and Leslie go back and forth trading lyrical lines and melodic runs. The duo is a well-balanced team that complements each other in an expert fashion.
“Grateful” is an apt track to begin with, as it shares the EP’s name. The R&B and jazz vibe easily hooks the listener into wanting more. Next is “Praise Him,” which is easily evident as to why it has the distinction of being the EP’s first featured single. The rhythmic hook, almost chant-like in parts, can’t be ignored and draws in the listener. “I AM” provides a great transition to the back half of tracks with its lyrics calling to “give You [God] the highest praise.”
“Love Changes Things,” “Rescue Me,” and “Back To You” share a compelling message of redemption and restoration. “Love Changes Things” parallels God’s love and mankind’s love. “Rescue Me” is a plea for God to invade, restore and make new. And, “Back To You” closes the EP with nods to a Prodigal Son-like story.
Grateful is available now on all major platforms. Lionel & Leslie have produced a project to be proud of, a worthy addition to their already extensive media credits, which include features and recognitions from BET, the Stellar Awards, the National Gospel Awards, and the Faith Awards. Each track on this new collection beautifully proclaims foundational Gospel truths in a variety of musical styles that make the collection both timeless and new. Grateful is certain to be welcomed by a large listening audience. For more information on the duo, please visit their website.