The pop diva who charmed audiences on TV's "American Idol" and faced down Simon Cowell about true beauty wows listeners with her debut album, which features her powerful voice lifted in praise to the Lord. A mix of pop ballads and R&B rhythms, this album will not only entertain, but lead your heart to worship.
Format: Compact disc Vendor: Sparrow Records Publication Date: 2007
Using the word eclectic to describe Mandisas foray into studio recording would be an under-statement. Although the tunes jump from power ballads to R&B to Gospel to Hip-Hop and beyond, they do showcase her wide range of talent. One things for sure: This girl can sing. Her voice can fill any genre. However, the downfall is its hard to decipher her niche. No need to listen to the radio if its variety you want just play True Beauty, and youll think you have your iPod on shuffle.
The album begins with the singable hit single, Only The World, one of the only songs with a more modern feel musically. From there, the quirky title track features pointed lyrics that boast, Dont know much about Dolce & Gabbana/Seems like a lot of drama to me/And you can keep all your red high heels and open-toed shoesIm good in my bare feet. Mandisa follows through with the same boldness in singing about her faith that sparked controversy and perhaps led to her widely-reported termination from American Idol.
Stylistically, theres everything from the striking Vanessa Williams-esque God Speaking to the Diverse City-stamped Love Somebody (with tobyMac) to the negro spiritual sounds of Oh My Lord to the 90s throwback Steal My Joy, whose rhythm track immediately brings Amy Grants Every Heartbeat to mind.
Some friendly advice: Download the hit single. Variety is the name of the game, but hopefully, next time around, Mandisa will have more time to develop her own style and create an album that is fluid from front to back.
LINDSAY WILLIAMS- CCMMagazine.com