Prime Cuts: All Are Welcome, Do For Love (with Angie Rose), We All Need Jesus (with Koryn Hawthorne)
Overall Grade: 3/5
Ever since Danny Gokey came in as one of the finalists in the eighth season of "American Idol," he has been a mainstay on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart. Thus far, he has scored four #1s within the last decade. On the album side, Gokey has reached the submit of the Christian Album chart twice with Hope in Front of Me and Rise. Jesus People, Gokey's sixth non-seasonal album, will most likely extend his longevity on the charts.
Jesus People is a made for radio effort with songs that bow to the latest trends, beats, and loops. With Justin Bieber-esque crisp beats, album opener "Make a Difference" is a self-empowerment anthem that will get your head bopping and your feet stomping. "He Believes in You" and "Stand in Faith" continue the same positivism set by the preceding track. Though Gokey has a heart to encourage fans buried in the mire of discouragements that come with the pandemic, the overuse of predictable beats and cliché tropes make these songs come across as pretentious. A tad more believable is "Truth Is," which is slightly salvaged by Gokey's detour to some Gospel-ish flourish.
The album, however, is not beyond redemption. It's in those moments when he's not pandering towards radio or towards the latest musical trend that he excels. "All Are Welcome," which leans more towards a worship tune, is Gokey at his heartfelt best. Singing from the vantage point of God, the song speaks of God's heart for all the nations to come to him. With its fat bouncy EDM beats and Angie Rose's delightful rap, "Do For Love" is quite catchy. Koryn Hawthorne joins Gokey on the slick-sounding "We All Need Jesus."
Jesus People makes no attempt to reinvent the wheel. These 12 songs are quite representative of what's circulating around Christian radio these days. They click all the right buttons, say all the things that are right, but are they memorable? Are they life changing? Are they refreshing? Unfortunately, the answer is no.