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

 Erica Campbell's debut solo album 'Help' brims with feeling.
Erica Campbell's "Help." (Entertainment One)

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.

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"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.

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Erica Campbell

"Help"

(My Block/eOne)

3 stars

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