Overall Grade: 4.5/5
Prime Cuts: Bless Somebody Else (Dorothy's Song), I Owe You Praise, I'll Make Sure You're Lifted Up
One can't help but be mesmerised by Kurt Carr's vocal prowess. Not only is Carr vocally agile in doing gymnastics around high and elongated notes but the way he projects himself brims with so much passion that you feel like he's about to jump out of the speakers. Therefore, this creates many worshipful "wow" moments as we listen through Carr's latest album "Bless Somebody Else." And such a heightened sense of worship is further enhanced and empowered by the Carr Singers.. All of this means that the overall sound of this live recording simply out of this world great. Thus, leaving for us a template of how transforming worship ought to sound like.
"Bless Somebody Else" is Carr's seventh overall album and his debut for RCA Inspiration. And it's also the Gospel music icon's first album since 2013's "Bless This House." Recorded live on Sunday, June 17th last year, at the Fountain of Peace Church in Houston, Texas, "Bless Somebody Else" has undergone some fine tuning for more than a year before its release. All of this waiting - tiresome for the ardent fans - is well worth it, judging from the fact that we are blessed with a lofty album of 16 cuts, with a running time of over an hour.
But it's not the quantity of songs but also the quality that makes this a winsome effort. Carr starts off the record by recounting his teary conversation with the Andre Conch at his deathbed. Promising the Gospel music legend that he would keep the tradition of hymn singing alive, Carr does live up to his promise here. Pumped up choir songs such as "I'll Make Sure You're Lifted Up," "With Thanksgiving," "Say All is Well" are potential candidates to fill the worship of churches in the near future. While some Gospel artists are easily carried away by the spontaneity of worship without giving much thought to the song's melodic developments, this is not so with highly spirited "Something Big, Something Marvellous." And if you like deep soul-funk in the Steve Wonder tradition, don't miss "I Got Back Up," a song that reminds us that there are no failures in Jesus Christ.
The ballads are a delight to the soul. A heart enlarged by the love of Jesus will also be oversized in helping others. This is the theme of the title cut and current single "Bless Somebody Else." Meanwhile, the lady who sings lead on the worshipful "I Owe You Praise" really knows how to get to the heart with her soul-piercing nuances. Though "Blessing After Blessing" is an average mid-tempo choir piece, this is made up by Christmasy-sounding "God Bless You." "Grace Brought Me Back" tagged with the hymn "Love Lifted Me" is a testimonial ballad about how Christ can restore the broken sung with great emotional depths.
One of the highlights of the album is when Carr steps out of the gospel music kilter. With "Thanksgiving (Interlude)," for instance, Carr does a jazzy impromptu with its flowing piano that is actually quite good. And by adding the 70s disco swirl to "Lift my Voice And Sing," he actually brightens up the entire song. Overall. this is indeed a big album. Not only is the record packed with lots of songs and vocalists. But the sound and the lyrics are enormous too - they show us how great, big and awesome our God is.