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No Looking Back

No Looking Back
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Artist
Release Date
July 22, 2008
Label
Tyscot

Sounds like … various songbirds with a strong footing in urban pop, including Janet Jackson, Ciara, Rihanna, Ashanti, and Coko

At a glance … understated as it is, No Looking Back is an impressive urban gospel release, and easily one of the year's big comebacks in the genre

If one were to list the key artists who gave rise to urban gospel music in the last decade, most would probably list the usual suspects—Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams. Another that deserves to be included in that bunch is Damita, even though her impressive self-titled major label debut failed to make as big of waves in the industry. Vocally, Damita is no Yolanda, but her first disc proved she was every bit as sassy, spirit-led, and self-assured. Her gifting is more delicate and understated—a quiet storm that could go from a fragile whisper to a thunderous, soaring soprano.

Perhaps Damita was too delicate and eclectic to catch on, but the singer is finally back with a follow-up. Eight years is a long time in-between projects, but the quality of No Turning Back renders the lapse irrelevant. You'd think Damita would be rusty or out of form after all this time, but that's far from the case here. Her voice is as potent as ever, commanding every track with the confidence of a leading lady, right on par with gospel sirens two years her senior.

Like the music of her husband, recording artists Deitrick Haddon, Damita favors the urban side of the gospel spectrum. She refrains from waxing churchy or melismatic, instead making a conscious effort to skew younger by remaining true to the music she loves, namely, uncomplicated yet extremely effective urban pop. Her style is melodic to the core—urban in approach but unabashedly pop, ...

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