I love when country artists come out with gospel albums. It’s always fun to hear the different ways an artist can change a song around. I was especially excited for this one.
My Savior starts out with a beautiful harmonic rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.” No vocals, just Buddy Greene playing harmonica. It sounds soulful and real.
“Nothing But the Blood” is upbeat and positive, and Carrie sounds absolutely joyful. She also sings verses other artists usually ignore, allowing the listener to experience more than usual of the familiar song. Carrie’s sincerity shines through on this and the rest of the record. Her voice has always been beautiful, but sounds even more so than usual on the simpler tracks, such as “Blessed Assurance” and “Just As I Am.”
“Great is Thy Faithfulness” features CeCe Winans. The two sound great together, and neither one overpower this song. It’s an interesting choice for two women with powerhouse voices, but they are able to easily maneuver their ranges and complement each other to make this song sound great. Carrie’s control over her voice makes her effective throughout the album. She’s sweet and tender when she needs to be, and deep and powerful when that situation is called for.
At times, the familiarity of the material overwhelms, despite Carrie’s uniformly excellent vocals. “Oh How I Love Jesus,” “Old Rugged Cross,” and “I Surrender All” all sound like she’s been singing them for so long that they sound rote in comparison to the other tracks. But even that isn’t a handicap all the way through, with . “How Great Thou Art” and “Softly and Tenderly” are sung with such sincerity that they sound new again. “Amazing Grace” is especially well delivered, with her pure vocal delivered over just a guitar and a harmonica.
Overall, My Savior manages to convey her faith and her musicality in this album, without losing too much sincerity and heart. Her vocals shine throughout, and both Underwood and the listener are rewarded by her following her muse.
” Carrie’s sincerity shines through on this and the rest of the record. ”
“My Savior manages to convey her faith and her musicality in this album, without losing too much sincerity and heart. ”
which is it ?
I don’t understand the question.
One has to give a lot of props to Carrie for doing this kind of an album, as many of these songs are fairly familiar to audiences both inside and outside of the Gospel world. Many of us likely first heard “How Great Thou Art” in Elvis’ famous 1967 recording; and “Amazing Grace” became such a huge hit in the winter of 1970-71 in an a capella version by Judy Collins. You have to put a definitive spin on them without going over-the-top with vocal gymnastics; and it would seem that Carrie got the idea in doing what seems to be a true labor of love for herself.
The highlights for me are “Victory In Jesus” and “Softly And Tenderly.” She always slays “How Great Thou Art,” but there is something magical about the ACMs performance that cannot be matched on record. The intro is terrific.