Thy Kingdom Come
CeCe Winans' seductive gaze in the album cover of her eighth album, Thy Kingdom Come, doesn't exactly scream "church," but the album is one of the churchiest the singer has released yet. While it left no doubts about her faith, her previous release, 2005's Purified, was squarely aimed at the pop and urban markets, both in style and in message. In contrast, Thy Kingdom Come sees Winans doing justice to her family name and singing almost exclusively for the saints — songs of praise, songs of encouragement, songs of worship, songs of inspiration. But the fact that this is an album for the church doesn't mean it sounds like Sunday morning. Winans does appear to be leading others to the throne in the congregational number "Forever," but she ultimately sticks to her pop singer persona — the same populist, non-melismatic songbird she's been since her days as part of BeBe & CeCe. As is expected of Winans, the songs are expertly produced, the ballads are beautifully orchestrated, the urban pieces are as urban as Whitney in her prime. In other words, Thy Kingdom Come is precisely what a CeCe album should sound like, which isn't to say she's settling for the middle road; instead, she's giving her Christian fan base what they've come to expect from her in the past, namely, solid, Scripture-centered urban pop meditations — nothing too gospelized, but hip enough to be bumped in the car or the iPod, yet sufficiently churchy to be enjoyed in-between services at your local congregation.