It has been a meteoric ride for gospel singer Le'Andria Johnson since she was the season three winner of the gospel television show Sunday Best in 2010, and her rags-to-a-recording-contract story is a heartwarming one, but it wouldn't add up to more than a drop in the great musical sea if she weren't such a good singer, which she is. Her newest album, The Experience, is a live set, headlined by her two recent urban and secular singles, "My Story Continues" and "Complicated," both of which combine personal stories with a positive, hopeful rhythm and feel. Johnson, backed by a band led by her producer David Blakely, starts things off here on a secular level, mixing blues, jazz, and urban pop elements into her positive and redemptive vision, and then amps things up in the second half with a full-tilt gospel showcase that leaves the secular behind and moves into sacred praise & worship territory. It's obvious that Johnson is at her best in front of an audience, and this live set allows her to pace her message perfectly, building it into a glorious stomp toward faith, hope, and redemption, and secular or not, it's what she does when she's at her best.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
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