Pastor Mike Jr.
I Got It: Singles Ministry
Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: August 13, 2021)
By Robert M. Marovich
Marriage as the ultimate culmination of a love relationship has been a mainstay of artistic expression for longer than anyone can remember. It’s the happy ending in Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Jukeboxes are packed with songs sung by men and women with marriage on their mind.
Pastor Mike Jr. has something to say about that. His personal and ministerial experience suggests that the talk about coupling as the be-all and end-all to life can give singles an undeserved case of the wedding bell blues.
Rather than preach about it, he has assembled a collection of bite-sized tracks that highlight the importance of what he calls “the single season.” Inspired in part by Fred Hammond’s breakthrough 2012 double CD God, Love, and Romance, Pastor Mike Jr.’s effort is called I Got It: Singles Ministry. Musically, it is reminiscent of Mali Music.
Employing a series of voicemail interstitials, Pastor Mike Jr. explains how the “single season” should not be seen as a time to mope around, lovelorn and discouraged, but as an opportunity for internal investigation, elimination of internal baggage, and preparation for when Mr. or Ms. Right does come along. His mini-messages are linked musically to album tracks like “Big Bag,” “Burning Bridges,” and “I Got It.”
On “Single and I Love It,” Pastor Mike reminds himself that love will happen in “my time,” that it doesn’t need to be forced. No need for anyone to settle for Mr. or Ms. Good Enough. “Love” is another selection that expresses the challenges of this most elusive emotion.
Ironically, for a project not meant to be gospel in the strictest sense of the word, the strongest track is “Thank You.” This gush of gratitude to the Most High contains a hint of Walter Hawkins in the key line. The message is clear: even if he doesn’t reach the pinnacle of his career, Pastor Mike Jr. declares hallelujah anyhow.
I Got It: Singles Ministry is well sung and contains a variety of beats, melodies, and moods. Kudos to Pastor Mike Jr. for taking the risk to use his newly-expanded platform to speak frankly on a subject that will appeal, albeit in a different way, to individuals within and outside the gospel music scene. It might not appeal to everyone, but those who need this pep talk know who they are.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Thank You,” “Single and I Love It”