After releasing two successful studio albums, a Christmas album and a live album, Nicole C. Mullen is back with Everyday People. Inspired by her fans, the record addresses the faith and situations that people go through every day. Like her other albums, Everyday People is positive and upbeat. However, she experiments more heavily with various musical elements such as jazz, hip hop and world beats. The album starts off strong with a cover of the classic Sly and the Family Stone song, "Everyday People." This sets the tone for the rest of the album which addresses Mullen's usual topics of faith, freedom and family.
Though most of the record is intelligent and fun, there are times when it goes astray. In "Message For Ya," the spoken-word vocals are distracting and cheesy, with one of the final lines "have you done your knee-mail" being lifted straight off a church sign. "This This" addresses being real with Mullen declaring she will "be herself" and not follow superficial trends. "Music of the Heart" is pleasing to listen to, but the chorus seems tired and the lyrics over-used. "Bye Bye Briana" and "Dancin in the Rain" are two dance numbers that address the death of loved ones while remaining hopeful and upbeat. "I'll Be the One" and "I'm Goin be Free" are similar to previous songs by Mullen, but they are still fresh and appealing. "Deity" has a good message, but Mullen talks through most of the song when singing it would make it much more powerful. The album ends where it began with a funky dance beat, "Every Nation."
Everyday People is a solid effort, but at times it fails to deliver what Mullen is capable of doing. The experimentation is admirable, but does not always work. Unlike her self-titled album and "Talk About It," Everyday People does not contain any outstanding power tracks that Mullen has become known for. However, after waiting three years for a new release, fans are sure to embrace this album.- Review date: 09/21/04, written by Laura Nunnery
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