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Alone But Not Alone

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Oct
Alone But Not Alone
Sounds like … a mixture of pop, soul, R&B and gospel in the vein of Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Al Green, and The Winans.At a glance … This is Marvin Winans at his most soulful—a great collection of elegant, top-notch R&B renderings that sound like nothing in the current contemporary gospel landscape.Track Listing Alone But Not Alone
My Story (feat. Carvin Winans)
Just Don't Wanna Know
I Still Believe
I Shall Never
Joy (feat. Ronald Winans)
I'm Over It Now
Come In Out of the Rain
Try (feat. Kim Burrell)
Peace & Love
Sinner's Prayer

Marvin Winans should need no introduction. As one of the voices of legendary gospel quartet The Winans, his heritage in contemporary gospel can't be denied, paving the way for scores of would-be crossover gospel artists for years to come. Under the Winans banner, he and his brothers would go on to win Grammy, Stellar, and Dove awards, as well as sell millions of albums and score a number of beloved radio hits, including the unforgettable classics "Tomorrow," "Ain't No Need to Worry" and "It's Time."

As the foursome gradually retired from the spotlight through the '90s, Winans shifted his attention to pastoring Detroit's Perfecting Church, a congregation he founded in his home's basement back in 1989. Alongside his church community, Winans released a few choir-based albums, but an official solo debut reminiscent of his work with The Winans eluded him for a long time. But finally in 2007, he teamed up with his sister CeCe's Puresprings Gospel label and Alone But Not Alone came to pass. What an album it is.

Like The Winans during their prime, Alone calls to mind everything that was great about the group—the soulfulness, the pop sensibility, the crossover appeal—and contemporizes it into an elegant, neo-classic R&B sound. Winans and producer Tommy Sims went all out to achieve such a sound, enlisting the help of some of Nashville's finest studio musicians, including lush string and brass sections that are more Barry White and Stevie Wonder than the contemporary gospel album du jour.

Lyrically too, Alone isn't your typical, churchified gospel album. It's almost as if Winans took the pains to write it in a way that's more geared towards sinners than saints—an irony, considering the singer's pastoral heart. But this hopeful, world-weary approach is exactly what this album needed. Music this heartfelt and soulful has to appeal to the average urban listener, and Alone But Not Alone does so in spades. A delightfully timeless album.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.