Somewhere near the crossroad where the paths of American Jazz, Afrocentric Soul and the rhythms of Urban Hip Hop collide and blend into one unique path, where random glimpses of contemporary life are set loose to fly on a windstream of eloquent lyrics and impeccable vocal style, Stefone Pet'Tis has emerged on the world music scene as a creative force to be reckoned with.
Set to a steady back beat, the latest album from Stefone and the Rites Of Passage, "By The Light Of The Moon," lights up the mind with its own fresh perspective, warms the heart with its uplifting textures of sound and vision, and soothes the soul like a cool summer breeze on a balmy hot afternoon.
"Agape", the album's opening track, is an afro/urban acapella chant essay about the virtues of unconditiional love, leading listeners into "Be Myself", which comes complete with a lyric sample from Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank U Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin."
The album's third track, "Thinking About You", explores the mystique of the feminine mind and emotions in an upbeat manner that brings to mind images of happy summer days spent in peaceful days gone past.
One of the unique qualities of Stefone's music is that her influences are so culturally diverse, ranging from classic vocalists, like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, to contemporary vocalists like, Sade and Chaka Khan."Don't Let Go" carries on the uplifting, lighthearted sound from "Thinking" and takes us into the dark moodiness of "If I Could", as we hear Stefone tearing through "If I Could" purring like an African Lioness lounging beneath a slivery crescent moon.
On track 7, the beat picks up and kicks into overdrive with "Whatever's Right", where Stefone takes on the mindless conflicts of life and lets loose with a chorus of, "whatever’s right will be the best thing..."
Bringing back memories of Chaka Khan's 1984 hit, "I Feel For You," Micaal Sajid takes on the microphone and delivers a schintilating rap in "My Love", another uptempto standout cut on the album.
"Holdin' On" brings the tempo down to a more relaxed. almost melancholy beat, presenting a message of gratitude for one not giving up on love when times get tough.
The tenth track, "Love & Affection" soars with its uplifting melody and sweet harmonies, taking the listeners on a magic carpet ride of sound in the same manner that genuine love and affection can affect the emotions of the human heart. "Love" serves itself well in its homage to the realm of romance.
The title track, "By the Light of the Moon," takes on the mood of a gentle storm that only serves to enhance the ambience of whatever setting it graces with its presence.
The bonus track, "Girl From Babylon", is a whimsical semi-autographical glimpse into the life of the dreadlocked title character who hails from Babylon, the town in Long Island, New York.
A glorious collection of uplifting harmony and graceful style, "By the Light of the Moon" is an album in which each track serves to complement the others, resulting in a natural blend of contrasting moods and sounds, where both the triumphs as well as the challenges of life are confronted with a graceful effortless style that is at once disarming as well as highly admirable.
Stefone's fans and followers are eagerly awaiting the release of her next album, tenatively entitled, "Liquid Sky", scheduled for release in February 2002.