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Surrender to Love

Surrender to Love

4.6 5
by Kindred the Family Soul
As did their Philadelphia soul sister Jill Scott with her breakthrough 2000 debut, married duo Kindred the Family Soul arrive on the contemporary R&B scene like a much-needed breath of fresh air with Surrender to Love. What Scott did for black women, Kindred (husband and wife Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon) aim to do for the loving


As did their Philadelphia soul sister Jill Scott with her breakthrough 2000 debut, married duo Kindred the Family Soul arrive on the contemporary R&B scene like a much-needed breath of fresh air with Surrender to Love. What Scott did for black women, Kindred (husband and wife Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon) aim to do for the loving black family, surely an underserved sector of the urban music market. Their wedded bliss and romance-filled lyrics will likely draw comparisons between them and legendary lovers Ashford & Simpson. But Kindred, anchored by a rousing 11-piece-band, are equally informed by the energy and spirit of '70s soul acts such as Earth, Wind, & Fire and Rufus. Known for their church revival–like shows, the duo give listeners a taste of their live vibe on the funky call for equality "Don't Wanna Suffer" and the horn-infused jam "Party's Over," featuring rapper Flo Brown. Throughout Surrender to Love, Dantzler (whose style is reminiscent of Teddy Pendergrass) and Graydon (a virtual ringer for Scott) sing convincingly -- as parents of two -- about the challenges and splendor of family life. Mellower highlights include lounge-set songs such as "Far Away," "Rhythm of Life," and "We." On the latter, a string-laden track featuring poet Ursula Rucker, Kindred sing in unison: "We is a beautiful thing / You and me is a beautiful thing." And in a society where black family structure is often portrayed as nonexistent, Kindred's touching testament to love is vital. However, these soul mates will inspire all couples, regardless of race, to Surrender to Love.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Philadelphia's Kindred the Family Soul -- aka Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon -- are a married duo that fronts a ten-piece band and plays some of the most inspiring melds of soul, R&B, hip-hop, funk, pop, smooth jazz, and soft rock. Surrender to Love is the act's debut full length -- an EP appeared during the previous summer to critical and club acclaim. The quality in all of these self-penned titles is astonishing given what passes for soul these days. One can hear the fine, sweet, emotionally and musically true inspiration of Womack & Womack, Ashford & Simpson, Roberta Flack, and Donny Hathaway here, but also the nu-soul grooves of Fertile Ground, Julie Dexter, and YahZarah as well. The shifting jazzy guitars in "Rhythm of Life," as they wind their way around the syncopated vocals, both as exchanged lines between the pair and as a chorus with a hi-hat and rim-shotting snare, make for a gorgeous midtempo groover that crosses the slick jazzy sophistication of Steely Dan with the soul grit of Lauryn Hill and Freda Payne. The album's first single, with its sweet yet spare washes of strings, subtly shaded guitars, and Dantzler's sweet and in-the-pocket tenor phrasing, is a plea for respite from the grimness of urban life. When Graydon hits the chorus and slides in a filler tag, the cut opens up, and when her verse begins, the listener understands that this is a love song above all, and as lovers plead for transcendence with one another, the listener is moved deeply into their wish for deliverance. There are 18 tracks here, and not a one of them is filler. Each moment of Surrender to Love is saturated in both accessibility and integrity. Soul music is far from dead if one listens to Kindred and their peers; they make the argument that no matter how gritty, how grim the circumstance, the struggle is not without merit. Give a listen to "We," with its manifesto of home in a slow-tempo poetic groove. Other standouts -- even though it's tough to choose -- are "What Happens Now," "Contentment" with its Tuck & Patti airiness, the anthemic "Spread the Word" with its Latin percussion-drenched funk that is equal parts Sly Stone, Ray Barretto, and War, the swinging, jazzed out "If I," which could have been sung by Monday Michiru, and the overdriven hip-hopping funk of "Party's Over." (There's a hidden bonus track after cut 18 so don't take it off prematurely.) This is as impressive a debut as one is likely to encounter in 2003. A mindblower.

Product Details

Release Date:
Hidden Beach

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kindred the Family Soul   Primary Artist
Yvonne Gage   Background Vocals
Davis A. Barnett   Viola
Poogie Bell   Drums
Randy Bowland   Guitar
Doc Gibbs   Percussion
Larry Gold   Cello
Vivian Green   Background Vocals
Keith Henderson   Guitar
Richard Patterson   Bass
James Poyser   Percussion,Keyboards
Lil John Roberts   Drums
Paul Wertico   Percussion
Darren Robinson   Drums
Anthony Bell   fender rhodes
Fatin Dantzler   Vocals,Background Vocals
Emma Kummrow   Violin
Igor Szwec   Violin
Andre Harris   fender rhodes
Ivan Dupée   fender rhodes
Arlynne Page   Background Vocals
Damen Bennett   Flute
Thaddeus T. Tribbett   Bass
Jill Scott   Vocals
Richie Fudoli   Flute
Bilal   Vocals
Junius Bervine   Keyboards
Jeff Bradshaw   Trombone
Matt Cappy   Trumpet
Shawn Hibbler   Drums
Tomi Popovic   Guitar Effects
Carol Riddick   Vocals
Kareem Wells   Cymbals
Aja Graydon   Vocals,Group Member
Daud Elbakara   Trumpet
Omar Edwards   Keyboards
Curtis Chambers   Guitar
Jermaine Childs   Bass
Ben Johnson   Drums
Jazmine Sullivan   Vocals,Background Vocals
Elise Perry   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Larry Gold   String Arrangements
Dave Ivory   Producer,Engineer
Steve McKeever   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Richard Patterson   Horn Arrangements
James Poyser   Producer,Instrumentation
Jon Smeltz   Engineer
Mike Tarsia   Engineer
Anthony Bell   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Instrumentation
Ursula Rucker   Poetry
King Britt   Programming,Producer,Remixing
Fatin Dantzler   Art Direction
Andre Harris   Producer
Ivan Dupée   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements
88-Keys   Producer
Vidal Davis   Producer
Thornell Jones   Art Direction
Kindred the Family Soul   Producer
Jeff Bradshaw   Horn Arrangements
Shawn Hibbler   Programming
Gus Rickette   drum programming
Jacob Robinson   Engineer
Aja Graydon   Art Direction
Michael Attardi   Engineer
Charles Whitfield   Administration
Frank Sutton   Engineer
Elise Perry   Producer

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Surrender to Love 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is funky, sexy, and slamming! If you have heard the likes of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and D'Angelo, then you have got to check out Kindred the Family Soul. In addition to the soulful lyrics of their songs, they also have a band that won't quit (if you're into live bands). This is a must in any REAL music lover's library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this album because I'd read an article about them and got interested. They are on the same label as Jill Scott. The album is all about their love and respect for each other. All songs speak of positivity, family, warmth and togetherness. The plight of our world today is also a topic. All in all is very good first album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a modern soul album. Forget contemporary R&B acts trying to sound "old school." This is the real deal. There is remarkable musicianship and artistry at work. Usually I am a snob about music but this album gets better with every listen. It will still sound good in 10 years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard this group at the Essence Music Festival July 2002. They opened for Musiq Soulchild at the House of Blues. They are outstanding. Their chemistry leaps off stage into the soul of the audience. Not since Nick and Valerie have we been blessed with such a soulful union. Run, don't walk to your nearest record store and purchase Surrender to Love.