Bringing It All Together

Vickie Winans (Verity)

Vickie Winans fans will be pleased with the recent Verity Records release Bringing It All Together, Winans' first project in four years. The collection has a slightly heavier R&B influence than previous albums, including cuts that are certifiably danceable. "Shake Yourself Loose" opens the project on a feel-good note, layering Winans' soulful vocals over a driving dance beat while still retaining her characteristic traditional flavor. "Amazing Grace Dance" appears later, beckoning listeners to the dance floor, complete with specific instructions a la electric slide.

Winans' noted fun-loving personality and her proud roles as mother and now grandmother may have driven the lyrical themes of several songs on the album where she attempts to address youth-oriented issues. Winans gives a praiseworthy performance on the hip-hop track "Shook," mixing new school cool and head-bobbing rhythm with lyrics like the spell-it-out redemptive hook, "That was me/Until I took a look into the B-i-b-l-e/The h-o-l-y B-i-b-l-e/That was me/My whole life was shook/When I took a look into the book."

"I Promise" approaches listeners with frankness, asking them to make a pledge of sexual abstinence until marriage, while "Happy and You Know It" and "Kids Love Jesus Too" provide up-tempo Winans fare for little folks. At minimum, Bringing It All Together gets your feet moving. At maximum, there's something there for everyone.

Reprinted by permission U magazine.

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