Review Date: 05/23/2014
Review By: Jessica Morris
Release Date: 05/27/2014
Rating:  [usr 8]

Christian music pioneer Carman proves he is still a distinctive force in the music scene with his latest album No Plan B. Featuring the vocals of the Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning artist, the album boldly proclaims the truth of the gospel and challenges listeners to have a ‘hold nothing back’ attitude to Christianity. Mixing elements of new technology with a gospel choir before adding in 50’s rock and roll and Carman’s deep and classic vocal tones with some spoken word, this album gives a glimmer of the plethora of genres that this artist has covered for over four decades. Selling 10 million albums since the beginning of his career, in No Plan B Carman is still as bold and uncompromising as ever.

Opening with the title track “No Plan B,” listeners are introduced to a distinctive mix of electronic and brass, paving the way for the experimental tone of the album. A catchy track, it brings together 80’s styled keyboard and soulful blues tones before launching into a fully-fledged gospel tag of “Jesus is my A, there’s no plan B.”  It is clear through this song that the vision of the album is about celebrating the Lord and following him unwaveringly. “Time to P.T.L.” will bring listeners straight into a black gospel church; the powerful and joyful vocals of a choir carry throughout the majority of the album. The repetition of Carman’s call to “lift him higher’” and “clap your hands” nearly makes this is a Christian version of Pharell’s “Happy,” and you will feel an insatiable urge to jump out of your seat and start dancing.

Calling on his roots, “I’m Coming Home” is stripped back and heartfelt. There is an overshadowing sound of the classic Christian music your parents tuned the radio onto so many years ago, and Carman’s authority as he leads the choir in the celebratory yet sacrificial song marks him as distinctive from his peers.

As the album continues, the singer continues to challenge the listener in their faith, reminding them of the power of God’s Word. “Jesus Heal Me” is perhaps the boldest display of this, Carman declaring, “Jesus heal me…my body and my mind.” The mix of a beautiful string section with harmonies climax to lift your soul and instil boldness in you to believe in God’s promises.  The implementation of Carman’s speech as he states the scriptures and the truth of God’s faithfulness further reinforces this. The 50’s rock vibe of “It’s In His Hands” lightens the mood and the electric guitar that is so prevalent through the song will force listeners to start clapping their hands and shaking their hips. A daring track, it melds together the roots of Christian music with rock and roll and features a guitar solo that would put Marty McFly to shame.  The versatility of Carman is undeniable throughout this album, and his ability to bring together some of the most respected and classic musical genres while declaring the truths of the gospel is admirable. This is further shown in the reggae like “Another Day” and salsa sounding “Yes, Yes.”

Finishing the album with his trademark spoken word in “That’s My King/Radically Saved” and an ode to the USA with “Flags,” Carman highlights both his passion and conviction for the one true God. Experimenting with a variety of genres and displaying an expertise in vocals that can only come from so many years in the industry, No Plan B shows that this trail blazer has a whole lot more to share with the world. Fans of old-school Christian music will love this new offering, and even those who lean towards contemporary praise and worship will appreciate the nod to Christian music’s heritage. Grab your copy of Carman’s No Plan B now!

 

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