Confessions of a Worshipper

Campbell and his 15-voice ensemble—noted especially for a number of strong and memorable ballads on their four previous releases—surprise and delight this time out with a set grounded in

Campbell and his 15-voice ensemble—noted especially for a number of strong and memorable ballads on their four previous releases—surprise and delight this time out with a set grounded in celebratory uptempo selections—albeit with a perfect leavening of trademark balladry. The group's sound is still essentially church-rooted gospel with shadings of jazz, R&B and pop. The standouts are many. "Oh Give Him Glory" has a jaunty Latin flavor, while "Close to You" is a heart-grabbing ballad. "Nothing Too Hard for God" is a perfect marriage of cool R&B and inspired, choral gospel. Steadily but surely, Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise has matured into one of gospel's sturdiest and most inspired acts.—GE