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Album Review: Erica Campbell 'HELP'

When word came that Erica Campbell was embarking on a solo career, a few wondered about the move. After all Campbell is one half of the Grammy winning, platinum-selling duo Mary Mary. Erica without Tina? Could she replicate that success on her own? Could she deliver the goods?

For anyone who may have been holding their breath in anticipation, feel free to thoroughly exhale. Erica Campbell has done it!  With her solo debut HELP, produced by husband Warryn Campbell, Erica has firmly stepped into her own with an album memorable not only for its vocals and genre-leaping styles, but also the creation of  her individual imprint on the Contemporary Gospel music landscape.

The 13-track HELP is one of those albums you just don’t want to stop playing and when you do, it will most likely stay in your head. The album starts off with “The Question,” a hauntingly beautiful song that scripturally answers the question of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. The song closes with a thumping church vibe that likely harkens back to the singer’s deep church roots.

The Grammy-nominated “I Need A Little More Jesus” is a foot stomping hand-clapping number that validates why it got a nod. The title track is a perfect mix of sounds with hip hop genius Lecrae spitting lyrics that anyone who”s experience a trial or test can relate to. You can feel the emotion behind Erica’s voice and tell that she is singing from a place of realism during her exhortations.

There are bouncy, dance-able turns on “Looking Like” and “Nobody Else.”   Shades of jazz and funk cascade in “You Are” and “P.O.G. (Power of God)”, respectively.  Gerald and Tammi Haddon penned a nice contribution with the ballad, “I’m A Fan,” and the Percy Bady-penned  “Changes” is reminiscent of the classic gospel ballad sound.  “All I Need” is worship at its best. You also don’t want to miss” More Than A  Lover.”

Perhaps the most poignant song is “Eddie,” dedicated to family patriarch, Eddie Atkins who passed away last year after a battle with cancer.

In a recent interview with PositivelyGospel.com  Erica said  HELP was “all from my heart.” The singer wrote and co-wrote 90% of the album and the songs easily draws listeners in and takes them to a place of passion, joy, worship and reflection.

This album will touch any listener who loves great music. Erica bookends the album with two certifiably churchy songs, “The Question” and “Changes” while filling the shelf with a diverse mix of music that are faith-filled, yet able to adroitly extend far beyond the four walls of the church. After all, that’s where the call is and Erica Campbell is definitely taking readers along for the ride with HELP.

Top Picks: “Changes” “Help”  “The Question”

You can purchase the album here and watch”HELP” below:

 

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