Sounds like … Atlantic Starr with a decidedly Christian message, with hints of BeBe & CeCe Winans, Babyface or Whitney Houston

At a glance … a balance between old-school and modern R&B peppered with contemporary gospel

David & Marian Lewis may be new to the gospel scene, but they're already known quantities in pop music. As lead singer and songwriter for R&B group Atlantic Starr, David scored a slew of hits including "Always," "Masterpiece," and "Secret Lovers" before finding Jesus and departing the group at the height of its success. Though she's always been a singer, Marian was best known as a face of the Eileen Ford Agency and working for such famous designers as Bob Mackie and Liz Claiborne.

After tying the knot in 1993 and taking time out to raise a family, the music bug eventually returned, this time as a duo with a Christian slant. David's production on this project is just as crisp and relevant to its genre as it was back in the day, while the pair's voices gel seamlessly just like brother/sister pair BeBe & CeCe Winans.

Contemporary gospel fans may prefer more spiritually overt cuts like "Leaning on the Lord" or "Shine Your Light," but there's a seeker sensitivity on "Purpose" and "On the Other Side." No matter the tone, David's soothing voice runs is as smooth as Babyface's, while Marian's soulfulness recalls Whitney Houston crossed with gospel great Deleon Richards, making One an easygoing yet consistently uplifting listen.


Others worth noting:

Jason Burton
The Remnant and the Harlot
4 Stars

Style: pop/worship; Andrew Peterson, Jason Gray, Mark Heard

In a nutshell: This introspective praise artist combines coffeehouse rhythms with warm vocals, backed by top-notch session players like Dale Oliver (Steven Curtis Chapman) and Jerry McPherson (Rich Mullins). In fact, the album's instrumentation is its runaway highlight, padded out by a fluid mix of steel guitars, fiddles, violins and acoustic guitars.


All About You
4 Stars

Style: soul/funk; Earth, Wind & Fire, The Funk Brothers, Tower of Power

In a nutshell: Between his Motown-esque voice, guest sax man Kirk Whalum, and co-production from Take 6's Mark Kibble, Vlada is one of today's most vibrant funk faces. Add in touches of Latin pop and loads of horns, and this well-traveled white guy—raised in Switzerland by a Serbian family and having lived in England, Germany, and now Nashville—sounds very much like he could have come from Detroit circa 1970.


Bill Tonnis
Live to Love
3 Stars

Style: acoustic pop/folk; Fernando Ortega, Michael Card

In a nutshell: Easy listening with a folk bent is a tough combination, and while Tonnis comes close to pulling it off with his deft guitar playing, his singing ranges from annoyingly joyous to overly earnest. Depending on the tune, he either needs to tone it down or spice it up a notch to better complement otherwise nimble finger picking.


To be considered for "Indie Spotlight," send an UNWRAPPED CD and press kit to:
Christian Music Today's "Indie Spotlight" C/O
Andy Argyrakis
465 Gunderson Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
November 12, 2009
David & Marian Lewis
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