STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 48588-14603 LABEL: Word Curb 8874412 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-08-31 RRP: £13.00
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Nicole C Mullen has a reputation for musical diversity and this latest release from the singer able to straddle both the CCM and gospel markets is no exception. Packed with a plethora of different styles, proceedings kick off with a brief classical prelude before Mullen rocks out to "Look Like Me" - a high octane protest against racial discrimination. Elsewhere, she delves into the worlds of R&B with "Yo Mama", rap in the feisty ode to mental purity "Brainwash", Latin in the Santana inspired "Treat Her Like A Lady" before finishing off with "Work With Me (Dance)" - a tongue in cheek dance exposé which aptly sums up the album's diverse nature. In releasing an album of such variety, there is undoubtedly a danger that the end product will be a mottled affair. However, thanks to the production values and songwriting skills of Mullen and her husband David, each song is as strong as its predecessor and every listen reveals something fresh. Mullen has skilfully crafted an album that remains accessible to the secular listener by writing about everyday relationship issues whilst weaving references to her faith throughout - most notably in the worshipful "Forever You Reign". A guest appearance from the marvellous Watoto Children's Choir of Uganda in "Blessed And Broken" provides the icing on the cake of this hugely enjoyable album from one of CCM's most creative artists.
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A Dream To Believe In Vol. 2 is the second installment in Nicole’s thematic trilogy. While Sharecropper’s Seed had an organically produced acoustic sound, A Dream To Believe In Vol. 2 leans strongly in the opposite direction, with a very contemporary pop sound, reminiscent of artists like Beyonce Knowles and Janet Jackson. Nicole’s songwriting talents that won her the Songwriter of the Year Dove Award are again evident on this her 8th album. Songs on A Dream To Believe In Vol. 2 were inspired by many great moments in the history of US that have significant importance to the faith of the country.