Erica Campbell's debut solo album 'Help' brims with feeling.

Swinging soul tunes, lush ballads, an old-school, two-beat rave-up about needing "just a little more Jesus": Erica Campbell hardly pared down her sound for her first solo album outside Mary Mary, the Grammy-winning L.A.-based gospel duo she shares with her sister Tina.

But if "Help" sprawls as widely as Mary Mary's records do — "Nobody Else" even nails the chattering pop-funk of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" — it also offers a newly personal look at Campbell's life, with songs about her marriage and her father in addition to the expected celebrations of God's love.

"I been in the fire so long I can't get burned no more," she sings in the pleading title track, yet that's not what this consistently vivid music suggests. On "Help" Campbell is always open to more feeling.


Erica Campbell


(My Block/eOne)

3 stars


PHOTOS: Concerts by the Times

PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations

PHOTOS: Musician feuds: The dirt & details


Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World