major solo albums since 1995 have alternated between worship-oriented albums (Alone in His Presence
, 1995; Alabaster Box
, 1999; Throne Room
, 2003) and those comprised of adult contemporary and gospel/R&B tracks (Everlasting Love
, 1998; CeCe Winans
, 2001). In that pattern, the gospel-influenced AC pop Purified
follows the Gold-certified Throne Room
project. And although it's been a long time coming-Winans started the project around Christmas 2003 and finished just before summer-her fans will find it worth the wait.
This time around, Winans reunited with producer Keith Thomas, who produced BeBe & CeCe Winans (1987), Heaven (1988), and Different Lifestyles (1991)-the albums that established Winans and brother BeBe as one of the most innovative groups in gospel music history. Thomas and renaissance man Tommy Sims join Winans as co-writers on several tracks. The result is an album that is somewhat familiar but also features a few very rewarding surprises. Put another way, the album art-muted, featuring a serene-looking, almost demure Winans-belies the album's diverse, high-energy content.