One Church

Kurt Carr and his seven-voice ensemble return from a long hiatus following their near-platinum, 2000 breakthrough "Awesome Wonder." The classically trained but ever streetwise Carr, who wrote 11 of th

Kurt Carr and his seven-voice ensemble return from a long hiatus following their near-platinum, 2000 breakthrough "Awesome Wonder." The classically trained but ever streetwise Carr, who wrote 11 of the album's 12 cuts, takes a bold, risky leap of eclecticism, melding everything from full-blown Sunday foot stomping and smooth pop balladry to funky R&B and choral anthems. He peppers such musical variety with the decidedly nontraditional gospel sounds of accordion, bagpipes, sitar and stacks of acoustic guitars. It is a wonder to hear and behold. As readily accessible as it is original, the album offers strong radio fare ("God Great God," "Psalm 68: Let Our God Arise/Power Praise," "God Blocked It"), interwoven with dazzling displays of imagination and vision that transport the venerable traditions of gospel to new, uncharted and thoroughly mesmerizing terrain.—GE