"Good morning optimism / Good morning to my faith / Good morning to the beginning of a brand new day / I know that God's will be done / So I lay down my pain and I'm moving on / I know that God's will be done / So it's a good morning after all" —from "Good Mourning."
India.Arie is heartbroken, and she wants the whole world to know it. Not only is her latest, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, essentially a breakup album through and through. It may very well be the first-ever inspirational breakup album.
Other breakup albums—Bob Dylan's Blood On the Tracks, The Cure's Disintegration, and, more recently, ahem, Nick Lachey's What's Left of Me—generally wallow in regret, self-pity and remorseful sentiments toward the other party. But not Testimony, a breakup album marked by faith, resolve, closure, forgiveness and new beginnings.
Interestingly enough, it's a theme that apparently resonated with many. Testimony, which has since gone gold, was the first album by a female Motown artist to sit atop the Billboard 200 sales chart since Diana Ross did in 1972. Motown President Sylvia Rhone has called India.Arie "one of our culture's most uplifting and empowering artists," while The Daily Star said that "with Testimony, the world will be a better place."
While a few hip-hop and neo-soul proponents have subtly championed spirituality and positivity in their music—Common, Talib Kweli and Jill Scott come to mind—Testimony outdoes them all in terms of religious frankness. From the opening strains of the brief intro "Loving" to the breathtaking hidden track "This Too Shall Pass," it's a testament to India.Arie's strong spiritual pulse.
But that's nothing new. Her previous albums, Acoustic Soul and Voyage to ...1