Star 1310's Critic
Tiffani is Star's Journalist with a passion for writing and speaking. Her interests are in music, entertainment, traveling, education, food, animals, and the world. She's eager to learn and mingle with the community! Her passion for speaking, seek knowledge everywhere she goes and in everything she does drives her to share that knowledge with others.
Some may know him from the several amazing hits, including "Never Would Have Made It," or some may know him from the powerful gospel group Commissioned. Marvin Sapp is a eight time Grammy Award Nominee. The release of "Never Would Have Made it" in 2007 beat out hits by Elvis Presley and The Beatles as the longest #1 single on the radio in the history of the Billboard charts, lasting 43 weeks. Sapp was on top of not only gospel music and adult R&B airplay charts but his single also sold one million digital downloads. Sapp topped the charts again with CD, Here I Am. He made history as the highest Top 200 chart debut by a Gospel artist ever charting at #2 and selling over 76,000 in the first week.
Now with his seventh album, I Win, released April 3rd, Sapp brings some new sounds with his classic powerful voice. He opens the album with intense electrical guitars and an energetic sound with the track titled, "Teach My Hands to War." The track sharing the name with the title, "I Win" is a beautiful slow ballad that leaves you feeling encouraged and is one of my favorites off the album, along with "Glory," which is a peaceful song describing the beauty of the earth and all of the glory it represents of God. "The Hymns Medley" is has a traditional hymnal sound. Sapp sings the old school hymnal, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, Bless His Holy name." Sapp sings a deep, ballad, titled, "My Testimony," talking about his experiences and how he has made it through them. This tear-jerking song is relatable to anyone who has been through tough times and trials and encourages you to celebrate the fact that you're still alive. This album reminded me of the fun, praise and worship sounds of Fred Hammond, so if you're a Hammond fan you will most definitely appreciate this album. This another great, encouraging and motivating album by Sapp.
Over the last few years Sapp lost his father, his pastor, his musical mentor and his wife. Enduring so much on top of managing a family and music career seems impossible but he managed to not only do it but do it very well. According to an online article Sapp stated, "After all the stuff I’ve had to endure over the last five years, I felt like I needed to make a declaration and be open and honest about how I feel about everything that I’ve had to overcome,” Sapp says of the set. “And when I look back at it, I wasn’t as swift as I should have been. Probably wasn’t as fast as I could have been, but because I endured I won.”
Many families in the Hampton Roads area can probably directly relate to the powerful film, Act of Valor. This amazing movie is about an elite team of Navy SEALs who take on a life-threatening mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent. This film gives an inside look on just how outstanding our military is and what they have to go through to protect our freedom. The movie stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism and is inspired by true events.
It also gives insight into the minds of our soldiers and their feeling when they embark upon these tasks and have to leave their families. Each soldier come from a different background and ethnicity but they all share a common goal and that is to protect the United States of America. Seeing a small peek into the world of this elite soldiers gives you a sense of pride and security, knowing that our country sacrifices its great to keep us safe. This beautiful portrayal of the acts that have been committed years ago and years to come in order to protect this country is an appreciation that definitely can be gained after watching this movie.
Learn more about this movie and watch the trailer and other interesting videos here: http://actofvalor.com/
Grammy nominee and Stellar award winner, Kim Burrell has hit the the gospel music charts again with her latest album, Love.The Houston, Texas native has recently been in the news for the death of her good friend, Whitney Houston, whom she knew for years and sang and worked with on several projects. Burrell has worked with artists like Missy Elliot, R. Kelly, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, George Duke, Whitney Houston and Prince, which has earned her the respect of not only the gospel but te secular crowd as well.
The Love Album continues Burrell's smooth, jazz-inspired sound. Her strong but soothing sound is undeniable. One of my favorite songs on the album in "Love Me in A Special Way." This song expresses exactly what it states, she speaks in the God's words as she states how God would like for us to love him. "Love's Holiday" has an old-school feel and is a sweet love song that Burrell specifies is for God, in the beginning she states, "I hope you're listening God." Another one of my absolute favorites is "Is This the Way Love Goes." This song is gospel and jazz all wrapped up in one and has such a inspiring message about believing in love. Burrell presents an up-beat, finger-snapping, but still smooth sounds with "A lil' More Time." This song has a "Mary Mary" kind of feel, with its fun yet message-filled sound.
Simply stated, Kim Burrell only gets better. This beautiful album is noting less than amazing, inspiring and eclectic.
Here's her website: http://www.kimburrellministries.com/
The central Florida born, and internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and speaker, Martha Munizzi releases her sixth album, Make It Loud, recorded live in Orlando, Florida. Munizzi began singing at the age of eight years old, singing in crusades and concerts around the U.S. and Canada with her family, and has been one of the faces for praise and worship for the gospel music world. Releasing her first album in 2002, she now has her sixth album, released in April of last year.
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album, Double Dove Award and Stellar Awards, Munizzi has ministered with powerful ministries such Pastor Joel Osteen, Pastor Creflo Dollar, Pastor Benny Hinn, CeCe Winans, Bishop T.D. Jakes, with appearances on TBN and BET. This hardworking artist has three independent projects which have peaked at #2 and #5 on the Billboard Top Gospel Album Charts and Billboard has also named Munizzi as one of the top five Gospel artists, and one of the top 10 selling Gospel projects, all in 2004.
Munizzi opened up with the album's title, "Make it Loud," a energetic sound encouraging people to celebrate Jesus. Many may recognize "Excellent," is a vibrant praise song, with a feel of a traditional praise team with Munizzi's praise and worship expertise leading the song. "Excellent Reprise," has a rock and roll sound, with banging drums, a keyboard and a wild electric guitar sound, summed up a the remix to "Excellent." A beautiful worship ballad is "I Know that You Love Me," with guests Jonathan Stockstill and Michael Gungor. "Fill Me" is a 10 and a half minute long worship song with a beautiful calming sound, one of the most beautiful praise and worship songs on the album. Munizzi's daughter is featured on the album with a solo titled, "Your Love Oh God," which is another calming and beautiful love ballad.
This album is another testament that stays true to Munizzi's gift of praise and worship and her amazing technique to deliver a powerful message and inspiration with every song and every album.
Deitrick Haddon is known for his explosive, power-packed, gospel messages. The Detroit native is known for his consistent modern gospel and is no stranger to the gospel or the music, as he preached his first sermon at the age of 11 years old and was directing a choir by the age of 13.
Haddon is known for his hits, "I'm Alive," "Sinner's Prayer," and "God didn't Give Up," just to name a few. His latest album, Church on the Moon was released last year (2011) and is one of many monumental album in gospel music for this 15 year veteran. Along with the titles, singer, songwriter, and producer, Haddon is also acting. He can be seen in the upcoming film, Beautiful Soul, which is an American drama film about a successful superstar who is on top of the world but has lost his way spiritually, and he journeys to find his way.
Church on the Moon is a 19 song explosive album with a hit that I'm sure many are familiar with, "Well Done," is a beautifully written, love ballad about the longing and yearning we all feel about one day seeing our loved ones we've once lost, in that beautiful place called Heaven. "Show Stopper" is a very pop inspired banger, it has a very upbeat dance feel. "Reppin' the Kingdom" is another power packed song on the album with a heavy hip hop sound and the song is power packed with talent, featuring Tye Tribbett, Canton Jones, T Haddy and J Moss. "Gravity" is a beautiful R&B inspired song about longing to be with God but only being able to make it so far. This is one of my absolute favorites on the album, along with many others.
"Touch Me" is a hand-clapping, knee-slapping, foot-stomping traditional choir singing, song, it is a fun and energetic song with more of a traditional sound. "Forgiven" is a bass-thumping slow song talking about being forgiven by God and the past being forgotten. Haddon closes the album with a simple yet powerful ballad titled, "Jesus is Coming." No matter what the tune, beat, or tone Haddon finds a way to sing about the deepest passages in the gospel. He continues to provide a pure message with this album, as he has delivered continuously with his previous albums. Do not miss out on this blessing, pick your copy up if you have not already and if you have, share it with someone so they can be blessed also.
Brian Courtney Wilson's new album So Proud debuts as # 1 on Billboard Top Gospel Album Charts. Wilson wrote the song, "So Proud," which is one of my favorite tracks and also the title of the album, three years ago in dedication to remembering to keep going no matter how hard it gets, remembering your value, remembering the people who stuck by you through your hard times and and remembering that God has always made a way for you. According to Wilson's official webpage's information on his current album,
The inspiration for this project came three years ago when Wilson penned “So Proud,” the title song and the CD project’s first single. The song is about remembering...remembering the reasons why you should keep going when the days seem the hardest...remembering your value when people cast you aside...remembering the people who did not give up on you when you feel like giving up on yourself...and most of all, it's about remembering that the reason we have so much to remember is because God has always been there to make a way through the people in our lives.”
Most of the other songs featured on the album were produced by GRAMMY-nominated and multiple award-winning producer and songwriter, Stan Jones.
Wilson's previous album, Just Love, featured hits such as "Just Love," "All I Need," and "No Other," with sounds ranging from fellowship and praise to worship, then to uptempo sounds with hip hop elements. The last album left you wanting more with a song closing the album consisting of less than two minutes. It is safe to say that Wilson picked up where he left off without disappointment, as a listener.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is "Grab and Hold." This song presents a soulful sound with a strong message to never give up, to hold on and hold tight to God's hand when situations get tough.
"He Still Cares is another one of my favorite tracks, and it offers a smooth, relaxed sound. According to Wilson's site:
“He Still Cares,” the second single from the CD project, was written by Stan Jones, who considers this song an extension of “All I Need.” This song offers a message that even when you’ve had a touch from the Master, you still may go through trials and tribulation. But you must believe that God still cares for you, and He will give you what you need, when you need it, to make it through.
"Unspeakable Joy" is a great song on the album with a traditional piano and choir sound. This praise and worship song expresses the gratitude that we share for all of the things that God has done for us and the unspeakable joy we feel experience because of the sacrifice God made for us when he sent his son to die on the cross for us.
Wilson graced us with another deep, praise and worship album. Do not miss out, check it out!
Mary Mary February 7th 2012
Siblings Erica and Tina Campbell bursted throughout the gospel music scene with crossover hits in 2000 and have been non-stop ever since. Their energetic sound is one of a kind with this dynamic duo, captivating the eyes and ears of non-christian's, intriguing them to want to listen to what these soulful sisters' message is all about.
Their first hit "Shackles (Praise You)" paved the way for their continuous, melodic, inspirational tunes along with hits such as "Heaven," "Yesterday," and "God In Me", which featured Kierra Sheard. Now twelve years, three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, an NAACP Image Award, a BET Award and seven albums later they are still at the chart topping with their new album Something Big.
The first single off the album "Walking," entered the Top 10 at the Urban AC after just nine weeks on the radio. "Walking" can be heard on the radio currently, it's sound is cool, head-bopping and inspirational with lyrics encouraging people to take their time and walk, no matter how long it may seem it's taking. Another hit on the record is "Something Big," the title of the album, which is has a soft, yet hard core rock 'n roll sound, it is definitely a head banger. "Something Bigger" follows with a Black-Eyed-Peas sound, it is definitely a pop inspired song taking "Something Big" to an even higher level musically.
My personal favorite on the album is "Slow Walk." This song has a fun play on words as it introduced scenarios that we all have or will face and it encourages listeners to walk slowly and take their time. This song is slower paced but still with a fun, funky up-beat. Check out Tina and Erica of Mary Mary for yourself with their new hit album, Something Big!
“It’s about making music that touches both adults and young people,” says Erica. Adds Tina, “It’s about spreading good news for the world but doing it in the Mary Mary way: banging beats and melodies, intertwined voices and messages of hope.”
For more up-close information, pictures and videos visit their official website at: http://www.mary-mary.com/us/biography
Kierra Sheard- Februray 2nd, 2012
The beautiful, young and talented Kierra Sheard is no stranger to success in the gospel music industry and is back on the scene with her fifth album, Free. Kierra is not only a Grammy nominee and Stellar Award winner, she is a writer, producer, and college graduate. She is known for her bold, God-fearing representation of how young people can and should be. Kierra is also known as a "daddy's girl" and her new album is her first off of her parents' new family music label, Karew Records.
Kierra is the daughter of soulful and successful gospel music recording artists Karen Clark Sheard (of the legendary Clark Sisters) and Bishop J Drew Sheard of Detroit, Michigan. Kierra first hit the music scene at the age of nine and has hit the ground running every since, with her acting debuts in films including Preachers Kid. Her hits include "Love Like Crazy," Praise Him Now," and "Invisible."
The live-recorded album bursts open with a lively, energy-bursting, guitar string plucking, "I am Free," which sets an exciting tone for the rest of the album. "Free" beautiful loved ballad, with tear-jerking lyrics that are guaranteed to give you chills. Number 11 on the album, "Believers Evolved," has a hip-hop sound and is geared towards young people, Kierra encourages listeners to not be afraid to be themselves on this track. My personal favorite on the album is "Lane" featuring JDS. This track is an immediate head-bobber and has an up-beat, finger-snapping tune to it and of course the lyrics are inspirational and encouraging as always with Ms. Sheard.
The album features S.O.M., James Fortune, Mali Music and JDS. Every track on the album has a praise and worship feel with a more mature sound but yet still relatable for the young adult crowd that Kierra created and carried with her throughout all four of her previous albums. Don't miss out, check this album out and keep your eyes and ears open for more from the amazing young artist.
The official webpage for her is: http://www.karewrecords.com/
The Grammy Award nominated, Dove and Stellar Award winners are the best selling female gospel group of all time. What use to be a transcendent trio is now a dynamic duo, now consisting of only members Angel and Chanel.
Angel & Chanelle is an uplifting album as the two New Orleans natives captivate listeners with their two beautiful and very unique voices. Angel can be recognized by her high range soprano voice while Chanelle's unmistakeable raspy yet smooth tenor tone forms a chill-bringing experience as you listen to their album.
"Over and Over" featuring P.J. Morton is a beautiful ballad about God's grace and how he continues to bless. This is the first single off the album. Their second single, "Heaven Hear My Heart" is a more uptempo song with a laid back feel, with the catchy chorus "Je Vous Aime" which means "I love you" in French. Trinitee 5:7 has been expressing their feelings on God's love for people no matter who they are and they display that in this song, saying that they "love everyone." The third single off of the album "Bring Your Praise" is a funky, exciting song that makes you want to clap your hands and do a dance. This song encourages you to bring not just any praise but your best praise for whatever your blessings are and as Chanelle states in the song, if you can not think of anything else to be thankful for, "Be thankful that you're breathing." The album also features the remix to the chart topping song "God's Grace," originally written and produced by R. Kelly and now produced by Ne-Yo which was featured on the self-titled album that was name one of the 30 Best Selling Gospel Albums of All Time by Billboard Magazine.
This is a fun and hip album with a mature sound that almost anyone can relate to. Trinitee 5:7 has continued to bring excitement to gospel music as these two beautiful women grace us with their distinct voices in melodic, upbeat and inspiring tunes. This album was released in May 2011 so check it out and if it is still sold out on the shelves tune into to Star1310 or whatever station is in your region and you're sure to hear them banging in your speakers.