As gospel singers go, Shawn McLemore belongs to the school that places a special emphasis on God's ability to effect specific solutions to the troubles of His people. McLemore quickly addresses the concerns of his listeners in "Any Minute Now," worrying that they may be having trouble with debt repayment, but assuring them that "tears are liquid prayers" and God will answer those prayers. McLemore continues to speak in marketing language on "I Believe," telling the faithful they are "pre-approved" for salvation and that their problems have "an expiration date." Just as he speaks of God's actions, he often wants the audience to take specific action. "Grab your neighbor," he will say, or "tell your neighbor." And he isn't bothered by the idea that there may be some cell phones in use in the pews. "You need to call somebody right now and tell them God's gonna do it," he declares. Whatever the problem, it is solvable through faith. "There Ain't Nothing" details various physical maladies God can fix, including cancer, diabetes, HIV, and blindness. In "Miracle," McLemore speaks of difficulties financial (maybe you are "dealing with a deficit … bills are due"), personal ("a marriage is dissolved … a family is shattered"), and physical ("You are diseased, sick in your body … even the new health care plan has not kicked in on your behalf"). But "your misery moment is a miracle moment in disguise." Trading off vocals with several male singers, McLemore adopts a traditional black gospel style in the first half of the disc, but in the second half turns to more of a 1970s R&B sound, complete with popping basslines and rhythm tracks that might have been borrowed from a Stevie Wonder album. In either style, he offers Christians relief from all the problems of this world, if they will only believe.
One Percent Miracle: Any Minute Now Review
by William Ruhlmann