Mary Mary

Mary Mary
The Sound

One would be hard pressed to argue that one of gospel's most successful artists within this decade is Mary Mary. With four albums (including a Christmas effort) to their credit, the sisterly duo of Erica and Tina Campbell have become a household name within the music industry at large providing funky jams and user-friendly content that inspires listeners across the spiritual gamut.

CD After a two-year recording layoff, the sisters Campbell return with their fifth release titled The Sound —a concept album of sorts, its entirety fashioned in the sound of a radio station, complete with inter-track drops and station IDs.

The 12-track offering from Mary Mary sees the dynamic duo continue to develop musically and lyrically. They continue their career-long production partnership with Warryn Campbell who handles all production. In addition, both Erica and Tina are avid songwriters and they exercise that gift throughout the effort, as they wrote nearly every song on the effort.

Former Winans Phase 2 members Juan Winans and Marvin Winans, Jr. co-write the wildly creative cut "Seattle".

Online Jukebox

Check out the online jukebox for Mary Mary 's The Sound .

Link to Jukebox

Meanwhile, the senior Marvin Winans contributes his writing genius to "It Will All Be Worth It", which features vocal contributions from an all-star cast which includes Tramaine Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Daryl Coley, Andrae Crouch, Rance Allen, Joe Ligon, Karen Clark Sheard, and Dorinda Clark-Cole.

Kierra Sheard lends her vocals to the ultra urban "God In Me", a street-wise cut that reminds all that it's God's light that attracts attention to the life of a believer.

Perhaps the surprise collaboration of the album has the sisters partnering with David Banner on the decidedly crunk "Superfriend". The impressively transparent nature of Banner's message is certain to resonate with sinner and saint alike. This collaboration definitely works and is one that is deserving of a sequel.

Mary Mary has always done a fantastic job of presenting a balanced musical set to the masses. This album reaches through an eclectic array of genres to amass a product that is bound to hit everyone. The title cut visits a serious retro Motown vibe while "Get Up" goes straight to an infectious urban dance groove. While each cut displays great musical diversity, they all share the common thread of empowerment, inspiration, and motivation.

From the worship-filled "I Worship You" to the pop-induced "Dirt", the California-based duo continue delivering Biblical truths with an element of practicality that makes their message easy to both access and digest.

Once again, Mary Mary has delivered an epic body of work. With timeless truths delivered over a fresh new sound, The Sound is slated to make a severe impact on both the gospel and secular arenas alike. Without question, chalk up another bonafide hit for the sisters Campbell. This is a worthy add to your collection.

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Production: Warryn Campbell
album release date: October 21, 2008
Columbia Records

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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