by Men of StandardMen of Standard


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Surrounded marked the beginning of a new era for contemporary gospel group Men of Standard. In terms of associations, the disc also marked their transition from foursome to threesome -- former member Michael Bacon parted ways in 2005 -- and their shift from Malaco's Music Shoals label to Columbia Records. More importantly, Surrounded recast them as a contemporary R&B trio. In Christian circles, the style is called urban gospel, but other than the empowering, worshipful messages, Surrounded has little in common with the down and dirty nature of gospel. Instead, the effort recalls Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, Blackstreet, and other vocal groups that favor slickness over substance. Before anyone cries wolf, Men of Standard don't lack depth or spiritual zeal, but they do skew younger in the album's first four tracks, sounding every bit like the male counterparts of gospel duo Mary Mary -- the connection is sensible, seeing how both groups share hitmaker Warryn Campbell as producer. Once the bouncy bangers run their course, Men of Standard begin to sound their age, turning in a stylish, soulful numbers that would fit swimmingly on adult urban stations, like the Stevie-ish titular song and the excellent "I Need You," the best song Babyface never wrote. Men of Standard really kill the performances in this stretch of Surrounded, particularly the live band gospel stuff ("Cover Me," "Yours"), which the group handles with enough composure and self-assurance to remind us why Men of Standard were once one of the most promising groups in contemporary gospel music.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/25/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0828768088029
catalogNumber: 80880
Rank: 134427


  1. I Will
  2. Power
  3. Alright
  4. Everybody
  5. Cover Me
  6. Surrounded
  7. Last Time
  8. I Need You
  9. Yours
  10. Latter Rain

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Men of Standard   Primary Artist
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Gerald Haddon   Keyboards
Jason Champion   Background Vocals
Nikki Ross   Background Vocals
Warryn Campbell   Bass,Keyboards,Track Performer
Nisan Stewart   Drums
Jana Bell   Background Vocals
Ashley Guilbert   Background Vocals
Daphanie Wright   Background Vocals
Teddy Campbell   Drums
George "Spanky" McCurdy   Drums
Dontae Winslow   Horn
Erica Davis   Background Vocals
Faith Anderson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Eric Dawkins   Composer,Vocal Producer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Gerald Haddon   Composer,Producer
Lowell Pye   Composer,Executive Producer
Chris Woehrle   Art Direction
Isaac Carree   Composer,Executive Producer
Warryn Campbell   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Nisan Stewart   Producer
Bruce Buechner   Engineer
Bryan Pierce   Composer
Erica Campbell   Composer
Sean Cooper   Sound Design

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