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Kim Burrell
The Love Album

Since 1998, Kim Burrell has wowed the gospel music, and indeed the entire music world with her effortless vocals and musical prowess. Her debut project, Everlasting Life, still stands out as one of the most respected and beloved gospel jazz projects to date.

Over the years Kim has remained visible and has served as an invaluable asset to the music world. She has served as a musical mentor and inspiration to up and coming singers (BET's "Sunday Best"), has been featured on a myriad of gospel projects and music based shows, and currently serves as Pastor of The Love & Liberty Fellowship Church.

Burrell has released her fourth recording effort, and the second for Shanachie Records, a highly anticipated project titled The Love Album. She teamed up with producers Asaph Ward (with whom she also collaborated on Everlasting Life) and Cory Henry to create a dynamic sound.

CD Burrell has stayed true to her jazzy style and delivered a wonderful repertoire of songs, containing mostly originals and a few classic covers from the Gospel and R&B genres.

The single "Sweeter" immediately captures the listener's ear with it's heavy baseline and smooth vibe. "Love's Holiday", originally recorded by Earth Wind & Fire, is marked by Burrell's wonderfully raspy deep tone, and is laced with perfectly placed background vocals and horn arrangements.

On the 1980's R&B hit "Love Me In A Special Way", originally recorded by El Debarge, Burrell re-interprets it to fashion it into a song sung by God to His creation. Then there's the classic "Jesus Is A Love Song", originally recorded by The Clark Sisters. Burrell's version brings a unique flavor to this beloved song, with a deep baseline, slightly different tempo, and a few tweaks of the vocal arrangements.

There are so many lyrically strong and musically aesthetic songs on this project. Some standout ballads include: "Pray For Love", "Is This The Way It Goes", and "Open Up the Door". All of these cuts allow the listener to hear Burrell's beautiful range combined with the classic, crisp musicianship so evident on this body of work. Evenly woven in are the more contemporary "Just A Lil' More Time", and "Let's Make It To Love".

Burrell states, "I've always been aware of my gift because I grew up having to use it alongside my sister and brothers in our family singing group as well as supporting my parents in ministry." She is a veteran in her own right and fills a unique space in the gospel music world. Many would define her music as gospel jazz, which we experience on an instrumental level in the gospel music world, but there are not many artists that create jazz albums from a vocal and musical stance.

Smooth would appropriately describe the entirety of The Love Album. The horn arrangements, vocals, and the fusing of all of the musical elements create a soothing infectious sound, and the message of God's love is the intricate thread woven throughout. God's Word states that the greatest of the most revered virtues on this Earth is love, and this project illuminates that fact.

If you're looking for relaxing quality music, this album is the choice for you.

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Production: Asaph Ward, Cory Henry
album release date: May, 2011
Shanachie Records

— review compiled by Nakiyah Hayling

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