Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: November 20th 2020
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- It’s Not Over (feat. Jasmine Murray and Rita Springer)
One of my favourite artists of late is Mandisa. Since her latest single “Way Maker” released at the beginning of this year, I’ve consciously listened to her music on my Spotify and iTunes time and time again, just so that I can become encouraged and inspired as I live the life that Jesus has set out for me. Always uplifting and always building us up, Mandisa has that uncanny knack of making life all the more positive, brighter and just plain cheerful and optimistic; just by praising Jesus and giving God the glory. Although things weren’t always this optimistic and rosy- no not by a long stretch. Before Mandisa released her 5th studio album Out Of The Dark in 2017, there was a period of 3 years straight where we never heard a single thing on social media about her. It’s funny how we as a listener place unseen pressure on an artist to constantly release albums and/or new songs whenever we are tired of the latest song we are hearing right now. It’s human nature, but sadly we consume more and more and more, until we suddenly are bored, and then we move on. In the case of Mandisa, who fell back into radio silence soon after 2013’s Overcomer, and hence didn’t release any new material after 2 or 3 or more years; the rumours had to have started up. I’m not sure what they were but maybe something like this- ‘Oh, such and such quit, is retired, has fallen away from Jesus, has moved on to something else, is sick, has died’… any other reason, take your pick. But we have seen and heard time and time again the faithfulness of God and the power of prayer and dedication through the comebacks of many artists whom we originally thought had released their best album many years prior to their comeback album.
Mandisa was on American Idol a while ago- in fact the 5th season in 2007, and she recorded plenty of inspirational and successful hits and singles- inclusive of thought-provoking melodies “Overcomer”, “Back To You” and “Press On” all from 2013’s Overcomer. Yet depression is real and Mandisa found herself in this thick of it from 2014 onwards. Thankfully God is a God of redemption, which is why He has helped Mandisa regain her love for music and then some more; as I personally reckon Out Of The Dark is one of the most inspiring and challenging Mandisa albums I’ve ever heard. Thus as “Way Maker” released in January 2020, and “You Keep Hope Alive” in April; the wheels in my head started turning. Is Mandisa releasing another studio album? Well…she may this year or next year- but now’s the time to look back and celebrate God’s goodness with also one eye firmly on the future; as Mandisa has now unveiled a third brand new track “It’s Not Over”, a collaboration with Jasmine Murray and Rita Springer.
A mid-tempo piano ballad with plenty of heart, emotion and vulnerability; the essence of this track is that Mandisa is relaying to us what we’re all thinking- where is God in this mess of a year? In fact, this whole song is a response to such questions, and as we hear the chorus and bridge remind us that ‘…it’s not over, You’ll finish what You started, it’s not over, something good is coming, it’s not over, You’ll finish what You started, what You started in me, even when my heart can’t understand, You still have a future and a plan…’; we are encouraged and reminded of God’s goodness and the fact that even when everything around me points to chaos… God is still here beside us, working all the time, and working all things together for His glory and our good. We may not understand what is happening, but just knowing that the God of everything is still in our corner and is still actively helping us in ways that we know and sometimes in unexpected ways as well; should be a great comfort to us.
With Mandisa’s latest full-length album Out Of The Dark still occupying my iTunes playlist all these years later; I reckon that Out Of The Dark will be one of my favourite albums from Mandisa, ever! But if you haven’t heard of Mandisa until this review, then I encourage you to listen to Out Of The Dark as well as the new tracks “Way Maker”, “You Keep Hope Alive” and “It’s Not Over”! Seriously, there isn’t anything else I can say! Well done Mandisa for releasing yet another thought-provoking, confronting and equally comforting song, that is sure to be a hit with listeners and critics alike! I can’t wait for what comes next!
RIYL: Blanca, Natalie Grant, Francesca Battistelli, Hollyn, Riley Clemmons, Britt Nicole