Woman to Woman: Songs of Life

by: Vickie Winans

Vickie Winans made a splash in the contemporary gospel scene when her solo debut, Be Encouraged, came out in 1985, and she has continued to produce records and perform around the country since then. The fruits of such effort comes in the form of Woman to Woman: Songs of Life, a 33-track, two-disc Goliath intended to encourage and help women (and men) who have been or are going through difficult times. The songs on the album vary from R&B to full-out gospel to smooth jazz to piano ballads, the consistent factors being slick production, inspirational lyrics (usually regarding Jesus, but also about friendship and love), and Winans' clean, clear, practiced voice (the exceptions being the inclusion of two songs about her, "You're More Than a Mom" and "Thirty Reasons Why I Love You Mommie," performed by her sons, Marvin Jr. and Mario, respectively, who both clearly benefited from their parentage). The eight live tracks, all found on the second disc, show off the talent and power she possesses and can display during her performances, from the sultry "Stand Up and Carry On" to the upbeat church-stomping "Stretch Out." The band sounds great throughout, and besides songs like "Shake Yourself Loose [Dance Mix]" and "It's Alright," whose dancey production makes them seem a little too cheesy, Winans delivers an impressive and professional set that should satisfy any fan or person looking for positive spiritual inspiration. ~ Marisa Brown

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