10 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Kim Burrell’s work has always radiated a warm glow, The Love Album noticeably turns up the heat with songs that blend the sanctified with the sensuous. She presents her unique brand of jazzy gospel with a batch of mostly self-composed tunes that meditate on both romance and redemption. Burrell’s ability to explore a range of idioms without diluting her gospel essence serves her well here. From the billowing ‘70s-style soul of “Sweeter” to the sophisticated nightclub stylings of “Is This the Way Love Goes?” and the classy piano balladry of “Love Me in a Special Way,” she turns in impeccable performances with fluency and passion. Songs like “Let Us Make It to Love” and “Love’s Holiday” have the seductive glide of smooth jazz-pop, while “Open Up the Door” and a reworking of The Clark Sisters’ classic “Jesus Is a Love Song” update traditional gospel themes with imaginative flair. With production input by Asaph Ward and Cory Henry, Burrell’s Ella Fitzgerald–like vocal flights are set to arrangements with both retro and contemporary influences. It's heartfelt, Spirit-filled, and musically exhilarating.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Kim Burrell’s work has always radiated a warm glow, The Love Album noticeably turns up the heat with songs that blend the sanctified with the sensuous. She presents her unique brand of jazzy gospel with a batch of mostly self-composed tunes that meditate on both romance and redemption. Burrell’s ability to explore a range of idioms without diluting her gospel essence serves her well here. From the billowing ‘70s-style soul of “Sweeter” to the sophisticated nightclub stylings of “Is This the Way Love Goes?” and the classy piano balladry of “Love Me in a Special Way,” she turns in impeccable performances with fluency and passion. Songs like “Let Us Make It to Love” and “Love’s Holiday” have the seductive glide of smooth jazz-pop, while “Open Up the Door” and a reworking of The Clark Sisters’ classic “Jesus Is a Love Song” update traditional gospel themes with imaginative flair. With production input by Asaph Ward and Cory Henry, Burrell’s Ella Fitzgerald–like vocal flights are set to arrangements with both retro and contemporary influences. It's heartfelt, Spirit-filled, and musically exhilarating.

TITLE TIME
3:57
3:31
3:22
4:01
4:09
6:27
4:21
7:22
5:17
5:21

About Kim Burrell

Houston, Texas-based singer and pianist Kim Burrell calls what she does "jazz gospel," and her ability to write a good portion of the material she records and performs makes her a rarity in the gospel field. To say she started performing early would be an understatement, since she took her first vocal solo with a church choir when she was only one-year-old. The daughter of a pastor and an evangelist singer, Burrell began her professional career with Rev. James Cleveland's Gospel Music Workshop Choir, Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir of Dallas, and the Inspirational Sounds Mass Choir of Houston. Her recording debut came in 1995 with the release of Try Me Again on Pearl Records. The buzz around the release led to her signing with Tommy Boy Gospel, which released a second solo project, the Asaph Alexander Ward-produced Everlasting Life in 1998. Live in Concert followed in 2001, also on Tommy Boy. Unfortunately, the label folded a year later and she was briefly signed to Elektra Records but only recorded a handful of guest spots for the imprint, although she continued to make frequent live appearances. In 2004 she made an unlikely guest turn on R. Kelly's "3-Way Phone Call" and sang with funkster George Clinton on his 2008 album, George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love. She has shared the stage with gospel artists Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark-Sheard, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, and Marvin Winans, among others, and has worked in the secular side of things with Missy Elliot, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Harry Connick, Jr., to name just a few. She released her first new studio album in 11 years, No Ways Tired, in 2009 on Shanachie Records. Another new studio effort, The Love Album, appeared from Shanachie two years later in 2011 and fared well on the Billboard charts, netting Burrell a Grammy nomination. Following 2015's From a Different Place, Burrell teamed up with R&B star Pharrell Williams for the song "I See a Victory," which was featured in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    Houston, TX
  • BORN
    August 26, 1972

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