The artist formerly known as LaRue Steward releases 11 worship songs under her new name. We find in this, her second album, a coupling together of two allies - the juxtaposition of Christian pop and gospel music. Its appeal lies strongly in favour of the gospel half. LaRue has written and performs some admirable gospel songs and while none of them are at the sharp end of modern gospel they are attractive songs in which no fault can be found, pleasant on the ear and spirit. "God Alone" is quite simply a good song; Tom Hemby's talented acoustic guitar playing sets the scene for a chord progression that moves forward with the grace of Anna Pavlova, LaRue's vocals float and soar. In other songs I can hear bits and pieces of other artists like Mary Mary, plus a few tried and tested tricks that the gospel genre has made its own. The draw back for this set of songs is the uneasy accomplice of white written worship. "Open The Eyes Of My Heart", "Blessed Be Your Name" and "How Great Is Our God" have been heard many times before by church attendees, and nothing new has been added to the mix here. Clearly, someone felt that these worship song classics needed to be brought to the attention of the black majority churches but, in truth, these versions aren't particularly strong. LaRue sings them nicely enough but her creative spark lies in her ability to write and perform fine gospel songs.
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