Sunday, February 20, 2011

Music Snob: Mary Mary...Why You Buggin?

Dear Mary Mary,

*sigh* We've come to this point in our relationship that I always hoped we would have avoided. You ladies - my GIRLS - are going way left with your gospel music. Granted, I'm very particular and extremely conservative when it comes to the music I like but when I first heard "Shackles" I said, "Hmmm, they're a little too pop and 'hip' for my taste but I can still hear the message." And you didn't disappoint. I absolutely loved "In The Morning," "Heaven," "Yesterday" and songs that weren't released as singles. You were the one group that were really hip but didn't seem to dilute the message and that, I genuinely loved. Although I haven't been a consistent churchgoer in my adult years, I always saw "the spirit" in you all and it made me accept this "young people" gospel music even more.

And then..."The God In Me." I liked the song to an extent but when I realized that it beared a close resemblance (if not the same) beat of "Blame It On the Alcohol" by Jamie Foxx, I knew we might be heading to a problem. I snapped my fingers to it. Did a slightly out of control two step to it. Both actions that I deem unacceptable to spiritual music. Nevertheless, I accepted that you were just trying a new sound for that particular album and was ready for the next one whenever you all were ready to release it.

And here we are. Now, we might be on the brink of the one thing I feared: a musical break-up. "Walking" at best. It is more of an inspirational song than a gospel song which is perfectly fine. The beat is even more hip-hop than "The God in Me" and it has me worried. At the BET Celebration of Gospel, you all performed "Something Big" and I knew that our official status was "It's Complicated." Last week, I saw the video for "Walking" and its pretty safe to say that we're taking a break. That video serves no purpose. There's no vision. Shoot, you two are barely walking. Its like a block party but not really.

You all seem to be looking for crossover success but at what cost? Is this the way? I'm lost and I don't like it one bit. me. You don't have to rewind 9 years but can you please let me know if what you're going for now is the message...or the money?


I'm in a Relationship But Its Complicated


Anonymous said...

Mary Mary is urban inspirational and just that. The producer consistently uses elements from hip hop records from the 90's on the DL. In the song Walking she said Jesus walks with me. The God in me song was perfect to counter alcohol spirit in the air on the same frequency and bpm. (Crystal Waters) Their message is for the baby on their spiritual path. You can't force Fred Hammond down the throat of a sinner on the Michael Baisdon show because they won't digest it. It is positive music and it sounds like you need some solid soul food.

Anonymous said...

They're only I'm gonna guess it's the money.

BrooklynBred said...

I never questioned whether the music was positive - not even a thought. I do feel that sometimes, you don't have to water down a message (especially if its your spirituality) for someone to get it all the time. Do it the way you'd normally do it and see if they'd get it that way first. I also question it when preachers make their Word "too hip" but that's another topic for another day?

I need some solid soul food...???

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that Tarralyn Ramsey got shunned because she went from gospel to R&B while Mary Mary has basically been R&B singers with "inspirational" lyrics and they're plugging right along, getting hits and going gold or platinum.

Bryan said...

Though I can see some points, I mostly disagree. One thing I've liked about Mary Mary is that they didn't have to be "churchy" in order to reach. Gospel music is supposed to be able to spread and the blogger said they were looking for a "crossover" well over all that's the entire POINT of Gospel music to "crossover" and reach those it didn't before. Everything can't be scriptures put to a beat and repeated over and over with a 3 part harmony choir. Mary Mary has always had a message and have been clever in delivering it. When you all hear the album I want you all to compare in terms of evolution more so which one was the best. I liked "The Sound" better than "Something Big" and their self titled album will always be my favorite, but they have seriously grown and I guess the blogger just couldn't grow with them.

VioletPoetry said...

I love Mary Mary! Gospel music needs a variety...Mississippi Mass Choir, Shirley Ceasar, Yolanda Adams...they are all good but they don't reach all groups of people. Young girls can relate to Mary Mary...their message is positive. I bob my head, bounce my shoulders and tap my foot to the beat but it doesn't mean I'm on my way to hell. I have purchased every album they have ever released and my spirit is fed each time. God looks at the heart, I doubt God is looking at them shaking his head with disgust because they are Walking down the street looking fabulous to a hip hop beat. The song inspired me to keep walking because JESUS WALKS WITH ME!!! Don't give up!