Yes, if you were wondering, Knowles just happens to be the manager cum daddy of contemporary R&B diva and lead Destiny's Child booty babe, Beyoncé. So is this just a savvy marketing move to tap into the oft-ignored spiritual sounds market?Forget about it. The Destiny's contributions ("My Time Has Come", "Have Your Way") avoid the temptation to upstage the cast of contemporaries, managing to spread the word without resorting to any fly-girl vocal pyrotechnics. Which allows the listener all access to the many hued sounds on show.
It's left to Mary Mary ("Somebody") to take the TLC styled vocal harmonies of the staccato love jam to uplifting heights. While all-girl R&B crew Ramiyah's "Turn it Out" is a strut your stuff street jam where the urban funk medium proves to be one helluva infectious message with their elegiac "I Told You" a hip-swaying lyrical praise song oozing authentic gospel slow fire.
In contrast, Marvin Winans ("Peace & Love"), HR Crump ("The Word") and Kelly Price ("I Know Who Holds Tomorrow") all evoke an old school gospel fervour. But as the funk-soaked bass bliss of the "Shout It From the Mountain Mix" of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Burnin' Bush" and the Kool & the Gang retro disco snap of Dawkins & Dawkins' "Dance" remind, when it comes to the gospel the lord does indeed move in the most soulful of ways.
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