Tamela Mann: One Way

The fourth album from this associate of Kirk Franklin and Tyler Perry cements her potential for pop crossover appeal while taking the cross over. She opens with stinging guitar on the title track and never lets up. The music stays mostly upbeat, and even the slower gospel burners shine with a contemporary flair that leaves ample room for her vocals, more Whitney than Mariah or Rihanna, to shine. Contributors include Timbaland, Franklin, Kari Jobe, and a nod to Andraé Crouch on a new “Through It All.” Reflecting Mann’s strong COGIC background, song topics include a confession of sin from Psalm 51, God’s rights and promise to work within his people (“Potter”), the exclusivity of the gospel (The title track is a Bob Dylan-styled “You might be a…” list song which she has performed on NBC’s Today Show), and God’s provision for his people, without lapsing into faulty prosperity language. Christian Hit Radio needs more Mann, pronto.

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