It's a long time since The Winans stopped touring and recording. While they were still functioning their chief lead singer and songwriter Marvin became founding pastor of a Detroit church. He has pursued that calling in the interim and isn't relinquishing it now he's returned to music. But he has found time to bring the Winans' classic soul-gospel sound into the 21st century. Don't expect Timbaland-style production; do expect classic soul. I detected influences from Marvin Gaye, Andrae Crouch, Luther Vandross and Alexander O'Neal on this polished solo debut. There are some fine vocal collaborations with Kim Burrell, newcomer DeShondra Rideout and two of his brothers, Carvin and - poignantly - his now-deceased brother Ronald. Lyrics speak repeatedly of brokenness. Maybe he was thinking of the collapse of his marriage to Vickie Winans. Whatever the inspiration, this is a pastor writing with refreshing honesty, rather than the feel good fantasy that can sometimes pervade Christian song lyrics. Overall, this album is a master class from a true craftsman. Welcome back, Marvin.
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