Bless This House
Carr has been given nicknames such as "The Maestro" for his impeccable arrangements, heart wrenching lyrics, and excellent instrumentation. He starts 2013 on a high note being honored at the 28th Annual Stellar Awards with the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award, and receiving performing rights group BMI's "Gospel Trailblazer" award.
Kurt Carr returns with a two disc set of praise and worship anthems, entitled Bless This House, featuring 24 power-packed songs that ignite the very power of God. Carr says, "I believe I've come into my niche and what my purpose is". One listen to the album authenticates this claim. The entire album was written by Carr; he describes it as "a masterful work of the past" combined with a a continuum of who he is. The project features the classic Kurt Carr sound, but also a new vibe that emanates from the the new season in his life.
The title track "Bless This House" (even though it was a last minute addition to the project) summarizes the entire message of the album. There's a particular part in the song where Carr encourages the state of Connecticut in reference to the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school. Carr takes it a step forward on "We Gotta Put Jesus Back", talking about the state of society since prayer has been removed in schools, and the removal of Jesus from the public realm in celebrating the Christmas season.
As usual, Carr offers up praise team favorites such as "Oh Magnify the Lord, and "Great God, Great Praise". But we are also introduced to contemporary pop sounds on songs such as "It's A Good Day", and "Always Covering Me".
(Of note, the album is dedicated to the fans as they were given the opportunity to choose the first radio single, "I've Seen Him Do It".) The Kurt Carr Singers are in full force we hear their individual styles on various songs. Nakitta Foxx brings the house down on "Praise and Worship", while Troy Bright adds his smooth tenor on "Touched by the Fountain of Grace". Yvette Williams delivers with her soaring vocals on "There is A Sound".
Carr also introduces talent such as seven-year-old Myles Caton (son of Timiney Figueroa Caton, who showcases his vocals on "We Gotta Put Jesus Back".
Guests Judith McAllister ("Let Everything") and Lorraine Stancil-Lawson ("We Cannot Be Silent") are also featured, and Gospel music fans will marvel again at Lawson's range from tenor and baritone to a pitch perfect soprano. Brandon Wimbush and Vonnie Lopez join in on "I've Got So Much", a classic song of praise and thanksgiving.
Bless This House is full of gems such as "Between Here and There", "Amen", and "Oh Magnify the Lord". There is also a special track dedicated to the late Queen of Gospel, Albertina Walker.
The project encourages your heart and reminds us of the power of corporate worship. Each listener will experience Kurt Carr's message of unity in the church and the strength we receive from encouraging one another.
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Verity Records/ Gospo Centric/ RCA Gospel
— review by Martin Williams —
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