This review is from: Truth Be Told (Audio CD)
 

Sequencing a full-length CD is an art unto itself and the best kept secret to making a solid album. As important as it is to stack strong tracks near the beginning of an album, it's often those last one or two songs that make the difference in getting a listener to come back again and again. R&B hit- maker, Vick Allen, and his newest CD "Truth Be Told..." is an 11-song Urban / R&B treasure, and is a perfect example of getting it right. Opening with the appropriately titled "I'm Hooked," an up tempo, Al Green-like groove punctuated by Memphis-style horn bursts, Allen sets the tone for the diverse platter of R&B that follows. "You Stay On My Mind" is an inspired piece of infectious Southern Soul, while "Forbidden Love Affair" finds Allen revealing his inner R. Kelly; and "As Long As I Got My Baby" serves up a dash of funk, it is followed by the completely contemporary soul of "I Know You Got a Man." Regardless of style, though, "Truth Be Told..." is seamless and cohesive, linked as it were by inventive and smart arrangements, superb musicianship, and the kind of background vocals that defines great Urban music and, of course, Allen's smooth high tenor, a voice that alternately echoes Green, as well as lesser known R&B luminaries like Eddie Kendricks, Tyrone Davis or Howard Tate. But it's the CD closer, "That's Heaven to Me", a solemn and uplifting Sam Cooke cover with the kind of message and melody Stevie Wonder later perfected on songs like "Heaven Help Us All" that seals the deal and will ensure repeated listens. Sequenced for maximum effect and filled with classic R&B grooves from beginning to end, Vick Allen's "Truth Be Told..." CD is a terrific album and a welcome addition to the Soul field.

The New York Times says:
Old-fashioned soul songs for 21st-century hard times open “Concrete
Blues” (Decision/NIA), the second album by the Revelations, based in
Brooklyn. Tre Williams writes and sings about unemployment,
incarceration and poverty before he moves into equally desperate love
songs carrying phrases like: “What you do in the dark/Oh, it sure
comes through in the light.” Mr. Williams, who grew up in Florida, has
the voice for them: a church-rooted baritone that’s full of gospel
grain and blues ache, and is miraculously free of current R&B’s nasal
melismas. Wes Mingus’s blues-rock lead guitar, terse and assertive,
takes over where Mr. Williams leaves off, and the band doesn’t rush or
fancify the tunes. It’s revivalism without poses or quotation marks.

- Jon Pareles, New York Times

The Revelations featuring Tre Williams
Concrete Blues
Decision/NIA   NIM -CD2
 
Tre Williams sings in a muscular baritone, backed by an aggregation equally at home with rock styles and more soul-flavored material.  His are the songs of a grown man who has experienced life in its fullness – he doesn’t descend to hoochie-mama/hoochie-man hijinks or playa machismo.  
 
"How Could You Walk Away," a pop-soul ballad girded by the band’s groove-steady prowess, finds the singer admitting his own responsibility for a love gone wrong; the structure and melody of  "I Gotta Have It" echo Bobby Womack’s "Woman’s Gotta Have It," and like Womack, Williams summons both erotic and emotional intensity (Vick Allen contributes some sweet-soul vocal harmonies to the mix).  "Lonely Room" is a tale of atonement that bespeaks hard-won wisdom. 
When he tackles social themes, Williams delves even deeper. "Something’s Got To Give" and  "Concrete Blues" limn the horrors of poverty and underclass desperation. "Behind These Bars" is the lament of an imprisoned man reading his lover’s letters with anguished trepidation.  Williams’s lyric imagery is vivid and rich with detail throughout.

This set also three bonus tracks, lifted from Williams’ 2009 debut CD The Bleeding Edge.  Including an eloquent reading of Latimore’s "Let’s Straighten It Out," they find Williams in a more conventional soul-blues setting, although supported (as elsewhere) by the burnished intensity of the Revelations instead of synths and studio effects.

The songs here meld soul, pop, rock, and soul-blues into what can only be called a style of their own.  Williams’ lyrics are adult and worldly; both the musicianship and his own singing are fully realized.  An artist of his gifts should be an across-the-board, multi-genre celebrity

The Philadelphia Inquirer says:
The Brooklyn-based Revelations recorded their second album in Memphis,
and like 2009's The Bleeding Edge, it straddles vintage Southern soul
and more modern R&B.

Thematically the album is part What's Going On and part Let's Get It
On. It's not that the group sounds much like Marvin Gaye. It's that
the first four numbers, the title song among them, deal with social
issues (specifically hard times in the city), while the last six focus
on bedroom issues: "Until You Get Enough of Me," "I Gotta Have It" -
you get the idea.

Singer Tre Williams is the authoritatively unifying presence. He can
be gritty or smooth, and the anguish and pleading he projects, free of
any melodrama or histrionics, helps elevate the material on both parts
of the album. In other words, he has the makings of a classic soul
man.

- Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer