Sunday, January 06, 2019

Album Review: David and Tamela Mann- Us Against the World


I took objected as I spotted people clowning on David and Tamela Mann’s new album (and book) Us Against the World.  The couple’s suggestion that the album is intended to serve as a sensual soundtrack for Christian couples struck some wags as hysterical.  I can only assume these heathens are unfamiliar with Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Al Green.

The explicitness of a lot of contemporary R&B eradicates its appeal.  For instance, Trey Songz’s two repulsively graphic 2018 albums 11 and 28 make me queasy.  I’m entirely on board with the gospel-based Manns making grown-and-sexy soul.  Besides, I’m a longtime fan.

Unfortunately, Us Against the World is merely adequate.   Babyface and Toni Braxton’s like-minded 2014 collaboration Love, Marriage & Divorce and Womack & Womack’s 1988 classic Conscience are far more effective.  Even so, Us Against the World songs including “Feels Like” are refreshing examinations of marital grace.


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I touted the music of Logan Richardson, Cardi B and Kanye West on a “Best Music of 2018” program on KCUR’s Up To Date two days ago.

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I write weekly concert previews for The Kansas City Star.

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Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show has died.  “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’” were among very few radio hits my dad and I both enjoyed.

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Pegi Young has died.

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The versatile lyricist Norman Gimbel has died.

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My childhood loathing of Captain and Tennille may have been my first brush with music criticism.  Even as a credulous child, that zippity doo-dah offended my sensibilities.  Daryl Dragon has died.

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Howard Begle, the “legal eagle” who helped Big Joe Turner and Ruth Brown obtain back royalties, has died.  (Tip via BGO.)

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Honey Lantree of the Honeycombs has died.  Here’s “Have I the Right?”.  (Tip via BGO.)

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)