Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Artist: Mario Brown
Album: The Mario Brown Project: Glory
Record Label: Malak Entertainment
Street Date: August 20, 2010.
Album Length: 14 Tracks. 1 hour, 1 minute, 41 seconds.
Genre: RnB/ Urban/ Hip Hop
IPod Pick: Take Me Away
Lovers of soul classic RnB of the likes of Trey songs, Chris Brown and Brandy are in for a swell time on this one. Mario Brown’s new album is simply packed!
The album starts off with an Acapella tune reminiscent of Brandy’s Acapella (Something’s missing) from her Human album. The opening Acapella (Get to Know Ya) utilizes fine voice strings and studio perfection making it something you might soon be leaving on repeat. The next track ‘Grace’ sounds like something fellow contemporary Christian musician Anthony Evans might place on an album, very nice, bouncy and catchy. ‘Glory’ slows things down a bit, reflecting on a life that is to be lived totally for God. The vocal styling on this track would bring to mind the early days of veteran artist R. Kelly.
‘Take me away’ is just a hit! It’s one you would fall in love with after first listen. ‘I can Live’ is a sweet RnB ballad about how we can’t live our lives without God. You would hear strong lyrics like ‘I’ll surely die without you’ on this one. ‘Losin’ it’ sounds like a tune Justin Timberlake and Maxwell might just come up with if they had a collab but the lyrics are sure real and God centered. Mr Brown’s son Jae’min Brown appears on the beautifully penned ‘A Father’s Love’. A song centered on the relationship between a father and a son. Note this might just bring tears to your eyes before the track fades. And Jae’min has an amazing voice in the likes of Justin Beiber. The Party ready ‘I can do’ comes up next. Other highlights in the album include ‘Revealed’, ‘Don’t Let Me Die’ and ‘Proven’.
I don’t mean Mario Brown doesn’t bring originality to the table by comparing him to contemporaries in the music industry. In fact his sound is very new and fresh. Though the album falls into a couple of familiar pot holes of clichés on some track but never the less, Mario Brown’s new offering is something we could all use especially for those who have searched long and hard for a Christian alternative to the big names on the RnB and Hip Hop scene. Say ‘Hello’ to Mr. Brown’s ‘Glory’, people.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Artist – Kerrie Roberts
Album – Kerrie Roberts
Label – Reunion records
Street Date – August 24, 2010
Album Length – 10 Tracks, 39 minutes 15 seconds
Genre – Pop
IPod Pick – Take you away
I love what this new generation is doing with music, developing innovative styles, polishing their God-given talent and presenting the gospel of Christ in a very relevant way through very fresh and innovative music. New comer Kerrie Roberts doesn’t fail to deliver even more on her debut.
I personally love Kerrie Roberts’ music though the monotony in sound might be a bit upsetting but there’s something about this lady of God. She’s got a message of hope and that is what she shares with the world on this one. Kerrie has a strong and beautiful voice in the likes of artists like Christina Aguilera and Janna Long (of Avalon). In fact her voice is so reminiscent of Christina Aguilera’s strong contralto.
The album starts off with the bouncy and catchy ‘No matter what’ which testifies to the goodness of God and how he makes everything we go through come out for good. ‘Keep breathing’ is a personal favorite which is simply a song of hope. Other highlights of the album include ‘Unstoppable’, ‘Take you away’, and ‘Beautiful to me’. The intro of ‘Outcast’ might get you wondering who has mistakenly swapped Kerrie’s debut for the latest Britney Spears CD but the song changes sound at the chorus which later sounds like one of those bouncy songs of Spears contemporary, Aguilera. But lyrically ‘Outcast’ is a song that talks about standing out for Christ in a world that calls one to fit into the crowd.
Putting aside the ballads lined up too close together and the slight monotony in sound style, Kerrie Roberts’ debut is a good alternative for fans of Pop music and strong vocals of the likes of Christina Aguilera searching for something beyond sex- laced edgy lyrics and bubblegum pop beats.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Artist – Mandisa
Album – What If We Were Real
Label - Sparrow Records
Street Date – April 5, 2011
Album Length – 11 Tracks, 38 minutes 29 seconds
Genre - Pop/ Urban/ RnB
IPod Pick – Free
First of all, I would like to say I was shocked by Jesusfreakhideout.com’s review on this album. It was in a way quite ‘belittling’. I formally wasn’t a big fan of former idol contestant, Mandisa but with this one, I became an instant one. Yes it’s that good. Lyrically, the album centers on authenticity in religion and just being real with our faith.
The album opens up with the hard clap ‘Stronger’ on which Mandisa encourages listeners ‘the pain won’t last forever/ it’s only gonna make you stronger’. The title track ‘What if we were real’ a rock edgy tune with a nice lead guitar rhythm follows with Mandisa opening up singing ‘I’m tired of saying everything I feel I’m supposed to say/ I’m tired of smiling all the time I wanna throw the mask away’ and she goes on in the chorus ‘We keep trying to make it look so nice/ and we keep hiding what’s going on inside/what if I shared my brokenness what if you shared how you feel . . . . . What if we were real’? ‘These days’ is a soft pop, feel good song with very sincere lyrics. Mandisa sings about how God shows up through the little irrelevances and annoyances (like traffic and searching for our phones in the mornings). ‘It’s funny what you use to help me grow’ she sings on this one. ‘The truth about me’ talks about looking at ourselves in God’s mirror and not that of the world, listening to what God really says about us. ‘You say lovely I say broken/ I say guilty you say forgiven’ Mandisa sings passionately in the refrain. ‘Say goodbye’ is a personal favourite. It is beautiful really in its entirety. TobyMac appears on the party ready ‘Good Morning’. The intro to this one is quite reminiscent to Kylie Minogue’s ‘Love at first sight’. ‘Waiting for Tomorrow’ is a nice tune with very thoughtful lyrics and sounds a bit in bass lines like Natalie Grants ‘What are you waiting for’ from her ‘Awaken’ project. The fine piano ballad ‘Just cry’ picks up the central theme of being real. The bouncy ‘Temporary fills’ condemns a culture of ‘want itall, buy it all’.
Okay, ‘Free’ is just Mandisa on a whole new level, you just need to listen to this. On ‘Lifeline’, Mandisa acknowledges God as our source. The album closes up with an acoustic version of ‘Stronger’ which funny enough sounds very unique and is worth the listen.
Mandisa’s new album ‘What if we were real’ is what we’ve been waiting for since she left the American idols but it’s a pity we had to wait a couple of years before we could get it. On ‘What if we were real’ Mandisa shows her ‘realness’ in skill as a musical artist of her own class with style. The whole album’s got hand prints of handwork all over it. Mandisa’s great voice is put to better use; the tunes are great and the lyrics beyond amazing. Mandisa’s latest is the real deal and worth the listen. Go for it people!