Review: Shirley Caesar's voice still powerful on new album

AP News
Posted: Jun 09, 2016 3:34 PM
Review: Shirley Caesar's voice still powerful on new album

Shirley Caesar, "Fill This House" (Light Records/Entertainment One)

Each of the 11 tracks on Shirley Caesar's "Fill This House" is filled with an energetic spirit of hope and self-empowerment. The 77-year-old gospel singer's voice is as powerful and vibrant as ever, particularly on the upbeat "It's Alright, It's Ok" featuring Grammy-winning singer Anthony Hamilton.

Caesar, a pastor of a church in North Carolina, emphatically preaches about the power of consistent prayer on "Prayer Changes Things" and "Prayer Works." She pays tribute to Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a mass shooting claimed nine lives last year, on the piano-driven "Mother Emanuel."

On the title track, she makes a request to have glory fill her home, and she sings about the value of God's presence in "Need Him Now." Caesar teams up with fellow gospel singer Hezekiah Walker on "Survive This," a song that signifies the result of a powerful victory — much like her entire album.

Caesar is an influential pillar within the gospel music realm. The 11-time Grammy winner still finds a way to release praise-and-worship songs that are pleasing to the soul, and "Fill This House" is a winner.