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Purified

CeCe Winans

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Album Review

Long one of the most successful and respected voices in the world of African-American gospel music, with Purified CeCe Winans makes a bid for crossover success. Her seventh solo album is a mixed bag, thematically speaking, combining funky pop music, moderately gritty R&B, and more typical gospel fare. Things get off to a slightly awkward start with the hackneyed and maudlin "Mamma's Kitchen" ("Can't we just go back to the simple kind of living," etc.), but gradually finds its groove over the course of the next few tracks: "You Will" is a gorgeous expression of spiritual devotion and trust, and "Pray" (the album's first single) is a delicious pop-funk gospel confection. "All That I Need" invokes early Anita Baker with its surging quiet storm groove and throbbing vocals, but combines that seductively earthy sound with artfully ambiguous romantic-spiritual lyrics. The album peaks about halfway through with "Just Like That," a funk-gospel masterpiece that opens with a spare and strutting verse before exploding into a rich and densely arranged chorus. "You Are Loved" is a winner as well, but then the program bogs down just a bit, finally reaching its nadir with the eye-rolling string of multi-culti banalities that is "Colorful World." "He's Concerned" goes a good distance toward redeeming the album's last stretch, but not quite far enough. Definitely worth acquiring, but you'll want to be selective about what you put on the iPod.

Biography

Born: 08 October 1964 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The eighth of ten siblings in the musical Winans family, CeCe Winans (born Priscilla) performed most often with her brother, BeBe, in a duo which recorded gospel material with R&B settings and proved to be the most commercially successful of the Winans groupings (which also includes her older brothers Marvin, Carvin, Ronald, and Michael in the Winans and her parents in Mom & Pop Winans). Born in Detroit, she worked with BeBe in a duo called the PTL Singers until 1987, when they released their...
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Purified, CeCe Winans
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