Marsha Stephens Hurd of Washington, DC sings a gospel song
Marsha Stephens Hurd of Washington, DC sings a gospel song during an interfaith prayer service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Tenth Street Baptist Church January 17, 2005 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

From Clutch Magazine: When it comes to gospel music, I’m no traditionalist. Having grown up in a charismatic non-denominational church, I heard (and saw) a bit of everything: mime, liturgical dance, hip-hop, CCM, rock, and those super sultry tunes that always seem to find ways to sample eight bars of the Isley Brothers’ “Between the Sheets.” But every now and then, I’ll hear someone half-jokingly quip, “I like my gospel old-school, like M’Dear used to hum stirrin’ pot liquor on Soul Food Sundays, like the Mighty Clouds of Joy hooked up with the Dixie Hummingbirds and spawned a super-group.” Suffice it to say, some people just prefer a really traditional sound.

A few months ago, I caught one of Trinitee 5:7 music videos and, aside from wondering when the trio became a duo, I was also wondering why the video concept was so dissonant. It didn’t connect to any specific Christian message, despite what the lyrics were saying (“Bring your praise”) beneath the hard-charging beat. It was definitely more pop diva than pulpit-inspired.

To each his own. I was never much of a Trinitee 5:7 fan anyway, but it does seem noteworthy how their sound and look have changed over the years. Is gospel out to push the envelope? Are its artists hoping to assimilate, both melodically and aesthetically, with artists in other genres?

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