Mary Mary - Something Big (2011)

Mary Mary

MaryMary-somethingBig.jpg

Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

There's a troubling irony that often comes into play where God is concerned: in spite of the fact that He's considered the Alpha and Omega who represents the truth in many forms to many people, some want to limit how He's praised and witnessed about to others (???). Ray Charles was one of the first musicians to earn flack for combining the secular and the sanctified, and today, some find Mary Mary's catchy and contemporary style of gospel to be just as troublesome.  If old-school hymns and harmonies are the only way some see fit to sing about The Lord, then Mary Mary's latest studio CD won't do much for them; but for others, the sisterly duo of Erica and Tina Campbell take it higher, further and grander with their newest offering, Something Big.

There's a troubling irony that often comes into play where God is concerned: in spite of the fact that He's considered the Alpha and Omega who represents the truth in many forms to many people, some want to limit how He's praised and witnessed about to others (???). Ray Charles was one of the first musicians to earn flack for combining the secular and the sanctified, and today, some find Mary Mary's catchy and contemporary style of gospel to be just as troublesome.  If old-school hymns and harmonies are the only way some see fit to sing about The Lord, then Mary Mary's latest studio CD won't do much for them; but for others, the sisterly duo of Erica and Tina Campbell take it higher, further and grander with their newest offering, Something Big.

Understandably loathe to switch up a winning formula, the Campbell sisters and their long-time producer, Warryn Campbell, continue to anchor their uplifting, inspirational messages to a variety of soulfully danceable beats. The title track is a "Mama's Pearl"-sampling cheer for Jesus, using call-and-response fervor as they relate how profoundly the Lord has impacted their everyday lives: "Something big done happened to me, I gotta tell the world about it/If I keep it to myself, how you gon' find out about it?" Another infectious ditty, "Never Wave My Flag," is a pulsating and synthesized up tempo vow to not let the trials of life weigh you down or steal your faith: "Cuz ‘ I can see it, I'm getting closer, the hardest part of it is almost over/ and now I'm stronger, and I'm a fighter, and only victory can satisfy this hunger." And only the hardest of hearts could overlook the hope and joy radiating from the Crystal Waters-recalling "Walking," where the two use the simplest of metaphors to demonstrate that moving forward in life a steady, yet worthy process: "Look at me, I'm trying, everyday, I fall down/make mistakes, get back up, try again, next time that you see me, I'm walking...."

But any believer experiences off-days, and yes, the Dynamic Duo addresses those uncertain times as well: "Blind" describes the all-encompassing, ever-forgiving love that God has for His children, even though they don't always practice its unconditional version with each other or towards themselves: "How can someone who owns the planet, everything in it and all around it want my heart/ with all its scars?....But you're not like me, you see past me and constantly forgive, again, again and again."

If the first half is its ultra-modern, super-hip segment, the latter songs are more traditionally-paced and delivered, but no less impactful: "Sitting With Me" is one of their most pop-oriented recordings yet, a harmony-rich and guitar-fueled proclamation that being the odd-(wo)man-out for Jesus is just fine as long as He's right next to her, while "Catch Me" is a heartfelt plea to the one who hung on the cross to offer strength in times of sin-propelled and natural-born weakness: "I'm only human, I try so hard and still get lost, but nothing's complete/ cuz' we need your love, so strong and I'm so flawed that you know I'm gonna fall, and you catch me."

Getting one's groove on in the name of The Lord and helping to soothe hearts and souls along the way: some may find their unabashedly secular approach and earthly beats to be off-putting, but one cannot doubt the sincerity of the testimonials that Mary Mary convey. And while a couple of the songs border on self-consciousness and redundancy ("Something Bigger," "Are You Ready"), it cannot be disputed that these sisters are anointed in their purpose, five and zero on their industry score sheet of quality releases and fulfilling the promise of Something Big for themselves, their Lord and their rapidly-growing legion of fans. Highly Recommended.

By Melody Charles

 
Album of the Month - Juewett Bostick - Shades of Blu
Choice Cut - Kea Michaels - "Not My Friend"
Song of the Month - Bryan Andrew Wilson - "Only You'

Leave a comment!