Mary Mary
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When it comes to urban gospel superstars Mary Mary, everything is done on a big scale. All of their pursuits-musical, spiritual, or otherwise-are larger-than-life: not a single thing is left to chance. For them, there's simply no room for halfway, half-done, half-baked efforts. No matter the venture, the bar is always sky-high. Absolutely everything must be handled with an utmost sense of excellence.

This commitment to greatness isn't novel for them. As far back as their breakout, career-defining first single, "Shackles (Praise You)" in 2000, Mary Mary have time and again gone for broke. Their landmark fifth album for Columbia Records, THE SOUND, is no different. Hands down, the project is their boldest, most complete work yet-a remarkable milestone in their now decade-long trajectory in music. "We represent a great, big God who is excellent, so we like to think that our work represents that, too," says Tina Campbell, one-half of the best-selling duo. "God's blessings are new every day. He's blowing our minds every day. We should be able to speak to a new day in a new way." Her sister Erica Campbell can't help but concur: "I wholeheartedly agree," she says.

With nothing to prove, Mary Mary could very well rest on past successes and settle for the middle-of-the-road. After all, they are Grammy, Dove, Stellar, MOBO, and American Music Award winners, and all of their studio albums-2000's Thankful, 2002's Incredible, and 2005's Mary Mary-are either platinum- or gold-certified. But independent of older glories, THE SOUND proves they go it all out, all the time. "We consider ourselves to be unpredictable," Tina says. "We like to think that we're innovative and original so you cannot figure out what our next move is and you can't really define our ability or what you think the expectations are."

That's putting it mildly. From top to bottom, THE SOUND sees the tandem stretching their wings into realms rarely explored in music, for a celebration of sound that nearly defies categorization. Assisted by longtime producer Warryn Campbell, the disc melds the twosome's love of truth-grounded gospel music, yet swathed in a colorful patchwork of R and B, pop, soul, jazz, electronic music, and then some. There's no better preamble for THE SOUND's genre-bending dynamics than lead single "Get Up," a song unlike anything on the airwaves in 2008, mainstream or gospel. "That song embodies what the whole album is about," Erica says. "It asks people, 'Why are you waiting? Why do you care what other people think?' It reminds us that your beginning can be whenever you want it to be."
Mary Mary
The Sound

Release Date: 2008
Mary Mary
Self Titled

Release Date: 2005
Mary Mary
Incredible

Release Date: 2000
Mary Mary
Thankful

Release Date: 2002