Freedom

Mandisa

Freedom

On 2009’s Freedom, Mandisa Hundley continues to display style and substance as a modern gospel artist, adding more nuance as she combines Christian radio-friendly pop with hip-hop and traditional gospel elements. Most of all, Mandisa’s personality — upbeat, yet acknowledging past struggles — manages to come through on every track. “My Deliverer,” “”How Much,” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” are fervent praise tunes sizzling with positive vibes. “The Definition of Me” (a team-up with Group 1 Crew’s Blanca) takes on the topic of female stereotyping with sass and spirit. There are tracks here that recall the folk-R&B fusion of Nicole C. Mullen (“Victorious”) and the slippery neo-soul of Macy Gray (“Leave It In the Valley”). The finest moments come when Mandisa applies her impeccable voice to God-centered ballads like “Broken Hallelujah” and “Not Guilty.” She especially excels on “You Wouldn’t Cry,” a beautifully wrought tune addressed to anyone who has lost a love one. With Freedom, Mandisa has fully established herself as an artist of broad artistic reach and deep spiritual conviction.

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