3 out 5 party cups
David and Tamela Mann have graced their fans with a joint album entitled Us Against the World. Tamela, on her own is a powerhouse but I don’t want people to totally sleep on David’s vocal ability. He’s been featured as a lead vocalist on several of Kirk Franklin and The Family’s hit singles and the track Marvelous on Tamela’s album The Live Experience.
Us Against the World takes listeners through the ups and downs of a relationship.
DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for a Take Me to the King or Change Me vibe from the Manns, this isn’t the album for you. There will be no need for the church ushers nor will you be speaking in tongues upon listening to Us Against the World. It may just have you reaching for your glass of wine and your woman may just wanna pull them panties to the side! The saints ain’t ready!
The 10-track album is a transparent depiction of the effort and work required to make a marriage work. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect to from the dynamic duo. The Gospel power couple is giving us R&B realness and I appreciate it greatly. You is a nice opener and a glance of what’s to come from this album. David and Tamela sweetly glide over the track while professing their endearing love for one another.
Ups and Downs had me reaching for my red party cup. It’s a perfect song to add to a wedding playlist and get your 2-step on! Good Love has a nice groove that reminds us of the importance of faith and communication which helps weather any love storm.
I Love You is one of my least favorite tracks from the album and pissed me off while diving into the lyrical content. I am not sure if its autobiographical but I don’t appreciate David messing up and hurting Tam! It’s not clear what he did to wreak havoc in their relationship at one point but my messy mind went to infidelity. Nevertheless, it’s another indication that relationships will be tested no matter who you are! It’s also a song of redemption and forgiveness. David’s vocals are predominately on display but it would have been nice to have a response track from Tamela to help tell the story and give a woman’s point of view.
Tam is giving us sex appeal with Feel Like. Go ahead and testify about the goodness for your man! I ain’t mad at it all. I hope the church folks don’t get too offended. I was killing ‘em with the shoulders when I heard that beat! While the album is heavy on the R&B side, there are touches of country as displayed in Mason Jar featuring LaTia Mann and the pop inspired Making Up.
My fear is that this project won’t be embraced by radio or garnered with much exposure because is not the typical Gospel sound the Mann’s are known for. Nevertheless, I applaud their efforts and willingness to step outside of the box. Like their fellow friend and gospel music laborer, Kirk Franklin, David and Tamela are innovators, and don’t mind challenging the status quo.
Overall, Us Against the World is a solid effort from Mr. and Mrs. Mann. Their genuine love and affection for one another is evident as it bleeds through on this album. It’s not for show, the Mann’s have the real thing. The relationship they have is sweet and something we all aspire to obtain in our lifetime.
Other standouts: Still Do and Us Against the World