Album Review
by SashaS

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  More on: Peyton

The Mix 50
  Album Review - 7-9-2005
Peyton's 'Peyton': soul-funk-gospel...
Peyton: 'Peyton'
Peyton: a man, a voice and songs

From the opening ‘Love’s Going On’ on Peyton’s self-titled debut album - the man states his intention. It is a soulful R&B that tends to push all the right buttons whilst delivering songs to make proud some of his great influences. The intent is even more stressed with the album’s second song, a former single, ‘I’ll Rise’. [This, the only unoriginal track on the CD, is an uplifting song based on poetic African lyrics from Maya Angelou originally brought to light by Ben Harper.]

Combining quite minimal backing with gospel-like choir, it feels like it could raise a roof or a few. The singer has the power of Marvin Gaye, versatility of Ray Charles, pop-ear of George Michael and funkiness of James Brown. All backed with the proper MOBO-like credentials: growing in the Bible belt of Tennessee of American South, his father - the Reverend Wesley Peyton - made him a leading vocalist in the gospel choir from the grand age of six.

Music’s been in his blood ever since and in 2003 Peyton enjoyed a massive crossover dance hit with the Ibiza anthem ‘A Higher Place’ [included here as well]; previously Peyton was also one half of pop act Hexdragon with legendary producer Nellee Hooper [the band had a deal with Virgin Records]. Last year, Peyton starred as the food and drink adviser on the UK version of the ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ TV show, which bought him worldwide recognition.

[Christopher] Peyton’s voice is drenched in honey-draped smoothness, as soft and warm as a pillow-talk, rich and textured on all levels that he’s showcasing at every opportunity on the debut album. Highlights are many, from piano‘n‘vox ‘I‘ll Fly Away‘ to Latino-infused groover ‘Back Into Love’ - influenced and inspired by Peyton’s time in South America teaching at a University in Columbia.

Add to it dozen more songs that combine spirituality, dance elements, catchy arrangements, strings, choir and vocals that continually surprise and delight, and you may near the broad spectrum of this disc.


Peyton’s album ‘Peyton’ is released 19 September 2005 by HedKandi