STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 77717-15371 LABEL: Sparrow 5099922677921 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-03-20 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
First there was American Idol which, though she didn't win, gained her huge profile thanks to Simon Cowell's insensitive remarks about her size. Then there was the best selling 'True Beauty' album and the Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame book. Then there was a hurriedly released Christmas EP that morphed (the following Christmas) into a full length Yuletide album. And now that the mass public's fascination with Mandisa's struggle with her weight has dissipated somewhat comes this album where the music industry will decide whether Mandisa will be around for the long haul or fall from popularity. Certainly the singer's rich contralto is in fine form, the songs - most of which explore various aspects of freedom - are engaging enough and whether it's the catchy pop rock of the opener "Deliverer", the shuffling rhythmed "Not Much", the gentle piano-led ballad "Broken Hallelujah" (with the singer closely resembling CeCe Winans when she's doing her inspirational thing) or the slinkily funky "Leave It In The Valley", there are plenty of tracks here which could take off in both (black) gospel and (white) CCM radio. Whether it gets the exposure or not 'Freedom' is clearly a pretty impressive exercise in covering all the musical bases while "Definition Of Me" has a lyric expressing the need to free oneself from the shackles of society's standards of value and beauty. And that, of course, is a subject particularly close to Mandisa's heart.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out