Music From My Heart
Songs of worship, songs of praise
Music, there’s music in my heart
from his song, "Music for God"
Gospel music has always been close to his heart however, stretching back to his pre-teen days as keyboardist for Mahalia Jackson to the multiple Gospel songs he has always included on his projects.
With his recent Gospel instrumental projects still in recent memory, Preston joins the MCG Records family with Music From My Heart, an artist-driven and eclectic album that touches on several styles, each song dipped in his trademark keyboard genius.
He begins with stripped-down, soul/funk originals. On “God Is Good”, he drapes his familiar and expressive voice over a synth and drums backdrop, moving into falsetto jabs on occasion.
On the follow-up cut “Tell Me Why”, Preston throws out rhetorical questions to emphasize God’s greatness and hangs the song on a single melodic phrase that gets punctuated by sustained synths and dry percussives.
From there, the album unfolds with selections that include the organ instrumental “Blessed Assurance”, vocals-based soulful ballads such as “Thank You Jesus” (with Arleta Hicks guesting and the Brookins Mass Choir in support) and “Heart”, an intensely personal prayer from the veteran artist.
Standing out over them all however is “Dr. Watts”, an inventive approach to “Amazing Grace” with darkly-colored layered vocals steeped in swirling Hammond B3 and anchored by a driving groove.
And if Mary Mary haven’t yet implanted the spiritual “Wade In The Water” in your heart yet, then Preston’s version of the song will ensure that that job gets done.
Above all, Music From My Heart reveals the inner man of Billy Preston. With his skill for musical expression shining from start to finish, there’s no doubt that with all he has gone through in recent times, his heart remains true to Jesus Christ.
— reviewed by Stan North —
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