Monday, April 11, 2011

Mandisa: What If We Were Real Review

Mandisa is back with the anticipated follow-up to her 2009 release Freedom. With eleven new pop tracks, Mandisa delivers What If We Were Real, an amazing record full of honesty and freedom. Starting from track one, each new song on Mandisa's new project is sure to leave you asking for more.

The opening track, the radio single "Stronger" bears resemblance to a previous Mandisa single, "My Deliverer." "Stronger" encourages the listener that the pain will only cause you to get stronger, and God will never leave you through your trials: "When the waves are taking you under/ hold on just a little bit longer/ He knows that this is gonna make you stronger." The title track follows on the same upbeat note, but I highly enjoyed the chanted lyrics of the verse. This track challenges the listener to be real, and not hide their hurts and failures: "Keep trying to make it look so nice/ and we keep hiding what's going on inside/ but what if I share my brokenness/ what if you share how you feel/ and what if we weren't afraid of this crazy mess/ what if we were real?"

"These Days" reminded me lyrically of Francesca Battistelli's "This Is The Stuff" single, with a reminder that the things that are most annoying -- not being able to find our phone, getting stuck in traffic, long flights, etc. -- are the things that God uses to help us grow, so we should enjoy life along the way. "The Truth About Me" was slower, with beautiful strings for a backing, but still had an enjoyable pop sound. This track contains a very encouraging message that we are the way God sees us, not the way we feel: ""You say lovely, I say broken/ I say guilty/ You say forgiven/ I feel lonely/ You say You're with me/ We both know it would change everything if only I believed the truth about me."

"Say Goodbye" is an encouraging track reminding the listeners to say goodbye to the regrets and receive the daily mercies of God. One interesting fact about this track is that it features background vocals from Group 1 Crew's Blanca Callahan! "Good Morning" was a definite highlight from What if We Were Real, but the highlight proved to be the guest appearance from TobyMac on the rap bridge. "Good Morning" is a definite dance-provoker!

The contemporary-sounding "Waiting for Tomorrow" was very thought-provoking, especially this line from the chorus: "I don't want to look back and wonder if good enough could have been better/ every day's a day that's borrowed/ so why am I waiting for tomorrow?" "Just Cry" seems to be a part two too "What If We Were Real," along the same lines lyrically. I also enjoyed the high notes that Mandisa hit very well especially in the bridge.

"Temporary Fills" was completely full, containing a cool grunge guitar effect every here and there. This track speaks of having no more quick fixes, but accepting the love of God because "it will last my whole life through." Mandisa's amazing harmonies were also featured on this track, which was very enjoyable.

"Free" was my absolute favorite from Mandisa's What If We Were Real album. With pounding electric drums, this track is fun and very encouraging all around. You will find yourself singing out the lyrics of the chorus along with Mandisa's high and low vocals combination: "Who the Son sets free/ best believe is free indeed/ wanna dance and shout and scream/ I'm free indeed/ F-R-E-E FREE/ Gonna tell the world what He did for me!" Out of all the tracks on What If We Real, this was the one track that stood out to me most. It is a perfect break-dancing song! Finally, the slower-paced, but not mundance track "Lifeline" is a powerful worship song praising God for being there to help in our weaknesses. I enjoyed the amazing buildups that appeared throughout the track, and Mandisa's soaring vocals in this track.

Mandisa's What If Were Real album was very surprising to me. I am a pop lover, so I loved Mandisa's new album from track one, "Stronger," all the way to the ending track, "Lifeline." The encouraging lyrics, Mandisa's amazing vocals, and the incredible, contageous pop made this an outstanding album that stayed on repeat. For the above reasons, I choose to give Mandisa's new album a perfect 5!

Track listing:
1. Stronger
2. What If We Were Real
3. These Days
4. The Truth About Me
5. Say Goodbye
6. Good Morning (Featuring TobyMac)
7. Waiting For Tomorrow
8. Just Cry
9. Temporary Fills
10. Free
11. Lifeline


  1. Love Mandisa....can't wait to get the CD!

  2. Good album review I enjoyed it and I will be getting this album as soon as I can :) I would say my most favorite song is Good Morning with tobyMac :)


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