Shyamalan's 'Glass' is Engaging Almost Until the End

I don’t think anyone will deny that M. Night Shyamalan is a great storyteller. He initially proved that with the release of The Sixth Sense. The symbolism of the color red, the odd scenes that made very little sense until the end of the movie and of course, the amazing twist that nobody saw coming. That incredible twist has almost been the director’s undoing. Since 1999, not one of his other movie’s endings have had the same impact, but he continues to try.

In 2000, Mr. Shyamalan hoped that lightening would strike twice with Unbreakable which also starred Bruce Willis. Like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable was a mystery only this time, the story featured the lone survivor of a train crash who left the accident without a scratch on him and an incredibly fragile, wheelchair-bound, comic book enthusiast which appeared to be the polar opposite. The story was intriguing, but basically fell apart near the end when the twist was revealed. Now almost 19 years later, the same thing ha…

Mandisa Gets Real, Again

Mandisa music review
Mandisa (Capitol Music Group)


You may be thinking that it’s been awhile since you heard any news or new music from Christian music artist Mandisa and you would be correct. It’s been four years since the world was singing her anthem song, “Overcomer,” from here last album of the same name. At the time, Mandisa was on top of the world appearing on TV shows like Good Morning America inspiring many with tales of God’s goodness, healing and her amazing weight loss story.

The inspiration behind the song and the album of Overcomer was Mandisa’s good friend Lakisha who had been diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her second child. Lakisha’s baby was born healthy and it appeared that Lakisha herself had been healed of cancer as well, but unfortunately, she passed away one year later. The news of her friend’s passing was almost too much for the singer to bear.

You would be hard-pressed to find another singer to be so honest and vulnerable than Mandisa which is why I love this girl so much. She bravely tells of her struggle with depression during this time on the inside flap of her new music CD, “Out of the Dark.”

“While I know that Kisha is in a better place and feels no pain, the deferred hope made my heart sick, and I spiraled day by day into a deep depression,” says Mandisa. “I ignored God, isolated myself from everyone, turned to my old ways. I didn’t go to church, didn’t open my Bible, barely left my house, and after losing over 120 pounds since 2008, I quickly gained it all back, and then some.”

Many of us can relate to Mandisa’s story and understand the frustration when we don’t experience the “victorious life” that we’ve felt that we’ve been promised. In her letter to fans she continues to tell how shame and insecurity took over her life and how it took the unconditional love of good friends who refused to take “no” for an answer to help rescue her from the darkness that she was no now living in. And so, these painful days became the inspiration for her new music which is just as inspiring as the last album.

The deluxe edition album of “Out of the Dark” features 11 new song plus three bonus songs written by Mandisa and friends exposing some of the singer’s toughest struggles as well as her new victories. It is unique in that it includes audio snippets from some of Mandisa’s closest friend’s encouraging messages to the singer and inspiring messages from the singer herself including her “Mothdisa” story showing God’s greatness is some of life’s most simple moments in nature.

Mandisa: Out of the Dark
Her current single, “Unfinished” sort of explains the whole heart of this new project, but it isn’t her best work on the album in my opinion. The best is the race relations ballad “Bleed the Same” with Kirk Franklin and TobyMac and the “girl power” tribute “What You’re Worth” that she sings with Britt Nicole.” The first song is a beautiful and important message questioning why after all these years our nation is still divided and people are judged by the color of their skin. The latter will inspire anyone who has felt put down by others and struggled to measure up to unattainable ideals with a “take that” attitude. I dare you to listen and not start dancing.

Other great songs on album include “I’m Still Here” (a tune about being knocked down by not out), “Come Back Kid” (a message about not quitting when you feel down and out) and “Shame Off” (about not allowing shame to rule your world.) Every song on the album is based on scripture as well. For instance, the song “The One He Speaks Through” is based on 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 and James 5:15-20, so you could easily have a morning devotion with some Bible reading and then finish off with some Mandisa music to inspire you for almost two weeks. And then you can do it all over again.

And Mandisa is coming to a theater near you. Sort of. She will be performing live for the 2017 K-LOVE Fan Awards on June 13 which will be presented in over 500 theaters nationwide.

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