Carrie Underwood - My Savior
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My Savior (Capitol Nashville, 2021)

Carrie Underwood

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Carrie Underwood's gospel music album may not be traditional in the sense that she sings these songs the same way she heard them as a child growing up. However, on the traditional/modern country music spectrum, this album leans closer to traditional country music than just about anything Underwood's recorded. Underwood always sings well, no matter how her songs are arranged, but it's a true treat to hear that voice without much of the big production that usually accompanies it.

Underwood especially country-fies "Victory in Jesus" with plenty of acoustic instrumentation and minimal percussion. "Blessed Assurance" also benefits from similar instrumentation, only it's not quite so twangy as the former. All these songs can be categorized as church songs, even "Because He Lives," which is relatively new compared to the rest (written in 1971). For many that grew up as Baptist kids, these lyrics were as well known as anything heard on AM radio. Such must certainly have been the case for Underwood, as well, which makes this album particularly personal. About the only song on the collection that sounds a little different than what's in the memory bank is "Just As I Am," where the melody is tweaked a bit, and not the way we're used to hearing it at the end of Billy Graham crusades.

Unlike Underwood's prior "My Gift," there isn't a bevy of guest vocalists on this album. One exception is "Great is Thy Faithfulness," which made even better with the gospel singer CeCe Winans' participation. The album closes with "Amazing Grace," which is given a sweet, simple acoustic arrangement. Underwood could have easily put this one into a full-blown orchestrated arrangement (which many have already done). Instead, she allows the song's sincerely poetic words pretty much stand on their own.

If you're a Baptist-raised kid, this collection will sound immediately familiar. If you're a believer annoyed by the repetitious nature of most modern worship music, you'll likely be impressed by the stellar songwriting found in these hymns. Even if you come to this album because you're a Carrie Underwood fan, you won't be disappointed. "My Savior" is an excellent album, no matter how you choose to look at it.

CDs by Carrie Underwood

My Savior, 2021 My Gift, 2020 Cry Pretty, 2018 Storyteller, 2015 Greatest Hits: Decade #1, 2014 Blown Away, 2012 Play On, 2009 Carnival Ride, 2007

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