True Beauty

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matthew Chisling
Gospel music is a rare thing to see on American Idol, and even rarer post-Idol. Mandisa, the ninth-place finisher on season five, opted to stick to what she does best: praising her Lord through her voice. Dedication can be heard in every note of True Beauty, and she never loses her poise or chops throughout the record, something that many of her Idol peers tend to do after the show. What's an even bigger feat of True Beauty is that it's catchy, entertaining, and passionate at the same time. Album openers "Only the World" and "True Beauty" could slide into any radio station across the country. Even better, they actually produce a positive message for those who listen. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matthew Chisling
Gospel music is a rare thing to see on American Idol, and even rarer post-Idol. Mandisa, the ninth-place finisher on season five, opted to stick to what she does best: praising her Lord through her voice. Dedication can be heard in every note of True Beauty, and she never loses her poise or chops throughout the record, something that many of her Idol peers tend to do after the show. What's an even bigger feat of True Beauty is that it's catchy, entertaining, and passionate at the same time. Album openers "Only the World" and "True Beauty" could slide into any radio station across the country. Even better, they actually produce a positive message for those who listen. Instead of singing about money in the bank, Mandisa chooses to promote a healthy body image by diving into the beauty of the soul, where it truly counts. Afterwards, she glides into "God Speaking" and "Voice of a Savior," which will melt any heart. She minimizes the backup vocalists and heavy production, letting herself shine through and distinguishing herself from most of her Idol contemporaries. Perhaps the strongest track on the album is the fifth one, "Love Somebody," which features the talented gospel rapper tobyMac. Mandisa and tobyMac combine gospel, soul, and rap seamlessly in four minutes of pure heaven, no pun intended. The most poignant point on the album follows right after, when Mandisa belts out "Unrestrained." Mandisa expresses her love for her God with such a level of earnestness that it leaves the listener breathless. After listening to the first half of the album, it is easy to be convinced that this is the best post-Idol album to date, regardless of genre. However, if you want to keep that belief, stop listening there. The first six tracks on the albums are all stellar, but the second half slowly falls apart. Tracks like "Oh, My Lord," "Only You," and the tepid and contrived Mary Mary cover of "Shackles (Want to Praise You)" seem tedious and bland. In other words, the second half of the album merely comes off as a B-level version of the first. The other weakness on the album is the songwriting. Mandisa only co-wrote three tracks on the album: "True Beauty," "Love Somebody," and "Only You." For an artist whose entire album -- no, rather genre -- is essentially a dedication, the amount of original material from her seems low. In the end, however, whatever Mandisa lacked was picked up by others, and although she didn't actually write much here, she made up for it in her chops. When compared to some of the other finished products of her season (Taylor Hicks, Princess P), Mandisa's first effort was pretty awesome, and she distinguished herself from her former rivals by bringing an original and tasty dish to the table.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/31/2007
  • Label: Sparrow
  • UPC: 094638572008
  • Catalog Number: 85720
  • Sales rank: 15,989

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Only the World (3:23)
  2. 2 True Beauty (3:23)
  3. 3 God Speaking (4:55)
  4. 4 Voice of a Savior (4:47)
  5. 5 Love Somebody - Diverse City (3:48)
  6. 6 Unrestrained (4:31)
  7. 7 Shackles (Praise You) (3:29)
  8. 8 (Never Gonna) Steal My Joy (3:14)
  9. 9 Oh, My Lord (3:17)
  10. 10 Only You (3:26)
  11. 11 He Will Come (7:14)
  12. 12 [CD-ROM Track]
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mandisa Primary Artist
Cindy Morgan Background Vocals
John Catchings Cello
David Davidson Strings
Scott Dente Acoustic Guitar
Blair Masters Piano, Keyboards
Jerry McPherson Electric Guitar
Lynn Nichols Guitar
Mike Payne Electric Guitar
Dan Needham Drums
Peter Penrose Background Vocals
Akil Thompson Bass, Guitar
Ben Phillips Drums
Jason Eskridge Background Vocals
Jamie Moore Bass
Nirva Dorsaint Background Vocals
Prague Orchestra & Symphony Strings
Tony Lucido Bass
Michelle Swift Background Vocals
Lamar Carter Drums
Jamie Kenney Keyboards
Kimberly Mont Background Vocals
Debbie Selby Background Vocals
Christopher Stevens Bass, Guitar, Drums, Keyboards
Shonlock Background Vocals
Cary Barlowe Guitar
Drew Cline Background Vocals
Greg Hagan Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Shane Philen Saxophone
Debreca Smith Background Vocals
Tim Rosenau Guitar
Calvin Nowell Background Vocals
Drew Ramsey Background Vocals
Sam Mizell Background Vocals
Missi Hale Background Vocals
Diverse City Guest Appearance
Tommy Vaughan Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Gabe Patillo Background Vocals
Matt Pierson Bass
Technical Credits
Brown Bannister Producer, Engineer
Cindy Morgan Composer
Joe Baldridge Engineer
Steve Bishir Engineer
Brian Gardner Mastering
Carl Marsh String Arrangements
Toby McKeehan Composer
Chance Scoggins Vocal Arrangements, Vocal Producer
Bill Whittington Engineer, Digital Editing
Jason Lehning Engineer
Tony Sutherland Composer
Aaron Rice Composer
Warryn Campbell Composer
Russ "Russwell" Long Engineer
Ben Phillips Engineer
Jamie Moore Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Justin York Composer
Ronnie Freeman Composer
Lee Bridges Digital Editing
Josiah "Chuks" Bell Programming, Engineer
Jamie Kenney Programming
Robert "Aurel M" Marvin Programming, Engineer
Tim Frank Art Direction
Christopher Stevens Programming, Producer, Horn Arrangements
Cary Barlowe Composer
Matthew West Composer
Shane Philen Horn Arrangements
Greg Fuqua Engineer
Mandisa Composer
Erik Jahner Engineer
Calvin Nowell Composer
Drew Ramsey Composer
Sam Mizell Composer, Programming, Engineer, drum programming
Joseph Prielozny Engineer
Craig Swift Engineer
Tommy Vaughan Horn Arrangements
Shaun Shankel Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing, Vocal Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Like it's name, it is beautiful.

    Although it didn't contain "My Deliverer," this CD is really rockin'. "Some People" is on it as well as the signature, "True Beauty," and "God Speaking" in creative Mandisa style. It even contains a song collaboration between Toby Mac and Mandisa. Like it's name, it is beautiful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful album

    Mandisa sings many styles on this CD! It has a wide variety.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Christian music!

    I love this new CD. Mandisa is awesome.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME CD

    IF YOU'RE IN NEED OF MUSIC THAT WILL LIFT YOUR SPIRITS THIS IS IT. SO GLAD I PURCHASED THIS AWESOME CD. LOOKING FORWARD TO HER NEXT ONE. HOPE IT'S SOON!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fabulous CD

    This is my favorite CD of all times... no kidding. I love every track on it and have bought several as gifts. I view this CD as a ministry tool. It includes a great variety of songs. If I had to choose a favorite, I could not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Solid Debut Album

    Mandisa graduates from American Idol and matures into a solid singer on her debut album. The positive energy from her songs is refreshing compared to her secular counterparts. 4 out of 5 stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this is a great singer.

    mandisa is the best singer in gospel music she has a beautiful and soulful powerful voice truly a gift from god. I love the songs. never going to steal my soul. only the world. shackles praise you. the whole cd is outstanding. it git you danceing and life you up in spirit and bless your soul. this is a must for anyone who loves music thats great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews