Tamela Mann
Gotta Keep Movin'

Since her days with Kirk Franklin, singing as a member of The Family, Tamela Mann has hardly kept out of the limelight, what with her prominent roles in gospel stage plays, including Tyler Perry's popular Madea's Family Reunion.

With the release of Mann's first solo album, Gotta Keep Movin', the stellar vocalist will no doubt continue to revel in the spotlight.CD Jammed with 10 songs, and each touched with Mann's signature vocals, this CD is a keeper and a gem. Production comes from the fast-rising Myron Butler, along with David Mann and Tamela Mann as well.

The album stirs together a mix of vocals-based compositions in contemporary format, but strongly rooted in the tried and true Gospel foundational style, with prominent keyboard, bass, guitar and rhythm.

Things start up with "Alright", which moves in a sprightly tempo, spiced with a funky track and some nice backing vocals from Butler's ensemble, Levi, as Mann encourages and ad libs freely through it all.

The Gospel jams continue with "Speak Lord" (produced by Terrell Carter). Strong backing vocals from Levi, guitar from Todd Parsnow and keyboards from Butler amplify this prayer in song. The jazzy arrangement imparted to the song gives it distinction.

Tamela Mann On the title track, an acoustic mix sparks the balladry, with Mann floating her vocals over a boldly-delivered chorus from Andrea Wallace, Candy West and Butler. The theme of encouragement directed toward the Body of Christ continues here, and solidifies the overall lyrical focus of the project.

Butler writes with Tamela's husband, David Mann (also a Family alumnus) on "You'll Never Find A Love". Set to a bass-driven contemporary track, the song addresses God's overwhelming love for us. Tyler Perry and Elvin Ross put their pens together on "Hallelujah", a praise jam that showcases Mann's rich vocal texture through her entire range, made even more obvious on the song's fade-out vamp.

Rounding out the album are a combination of praises (the power-packed "Trust Him" and the tender "You Deserve My Praise"), and also "Praise Medley", with Mann interpreting some popular choruses over Jerome Harmon's and Jimmy Wyatt's organ stylings.

Look for Gotta Keep Movin' to be a hot item in any Gospel afficianado's library.

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Producers: Myron Butler, David Mann, Tamela Mann
album release date: December 2004
TillyMann Music Group

— reviewed by Stan North

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