WITH SEVERAL Grammys decorating their shelves, an appearance on Michael Jackson's new LP, a gospel musical, and now, duets with chart-riders Anita Baker and Michael McDonald, the four Winans brothers seem bent on getting their glitzy gospel into the secular pop mainstream.
It's sneaky stuff. If you're not paying attention, the songs on the Winans' new LP "Decisions" sound like standard-make studio-slick pop-soul. But there's a message embedded in each. Baker makes an incandescent appearance on the first single, the ebullient "Ain't No Need to Worry," which contains the appealing reassurance that "it'll be all over in the morning." Just the thing to play after a hard day. McDonald sounds like a member of the family, fitting right in on the smooth "Love Has No Color." And seven little Winans chip in on background vocals in the joyous "Breaking of Day."
Side 2 opens with a clever audio collage of evangelical scandals, leading into "Right, Left in a Wrong World," about finding an anchor on this ball of confusion; followed by a craftily Charismatic reworking of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." The Winans put the Spirit back into soul, and with good grooves like this, they might make a believer out of you before you know it.THE WINANS --
"Decisions" (Qwest 25510). Appearing Sunday at Constitution Hall.