Since he first cracked the top 40 in 1966 with "Tell It Like It Is" (a No. 1 R&B hit; top five on the Hot 100), Aaron Neville's gossamer tenor has been one of nature's great wonders. And on his se

Since he first cracked the top 40 in 1966 with "Tell It Like It Is" (a No. 1 R&B hit; top five on the Hot 100), Aaron Neville's gossamer tenor has been one of nature's great wonders. And on his second gospel release—which follows 2000's Grammy Award-nominated Devotion—the voice remains nothing short of angelic. Veteran producer Barry Beckett lends letter-perfect instrumental restraint throughout, wisely letting nothing compete with Neville's thrilling, singular interpretations of a set heavy with standards from a head-spinning array of genres. Straight choral gospel ("Oh Happy Day"), dead-on '60s soul ("A Change Is Gonna Come"), bubbling zydeco ("I Saw the Light"), shimmering pop balladry ("The Lord's Prayer"), and a divine, other-worldly "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" all contribute

mightily to this transcendently

beautiful work.—GE

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print