Chris Jasper - Raise The Bar (Advance Review)

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    Chris Jasper
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    Chris Jasper – Raise the Bar

    Faith, family and community uplift have been recurring themes in the life and music of Chris Jasper in the nearly four decades since he emerged as a lead singer and solo artist, after years of being the creative force behind the sounds of the Isley Brothers and Isley Jasper Isley.

    Jasper returns to those themes in his latest project, the consistently solid album Raise the Bar. Jasper’s latest project will have an air of familiarity to Isley Brothers fans and to those who have followed his solo career across the 16 R&B and gospel albums he’s released over the years.

    Chris Jasper – Raise the Bar

    Faith, family and community uplift have been recurring themes in the life and music of Chris Jasper in the nearly four decades since he emerged as a lead singer and solo artist, after years of being the creative force behind the sounds of the Isley Brothers and Isley Jasper Isley.

    Jasper returns to those themes in his latest project, the consistently solid album Raise the Bar. Jasper’s latest project will have an air of familiarity to Isley Brothers fans and to those who have followed his solo career across the 16 R&B and gospel albums he’s released over the years.

    Jasper sticks to what works and that is ballads showcasing his velvety tenor with a premium on romance, up-tempo tracks that feature a funky and propulsive bass line, and Jasper’s masterful work on the keyboards. And as stated before, the tunes provide listeners insight into the things Jasper believes are important.

    Jasper expresses those priorities explicitly in “We Are the People,” a track that serves as a reminder that people of this country are united in their belief in fair play, faith and love of family and community. That sentiment connects “We Are the People” with songs like “Harvest For the World,” and “Caravan of Love.” The funky title track is a call for community and individual uplift, aspirational themes that Jasper expressed in “Superbad.” That tune came out more than 30 years ago, but the call is no less relevant now.

    Jasper goes deeper into the themes of family and faith on tunes “My Little Boy” and “Praising You.” The former is a sweet ballad that finds him looking back on the son who has grown into a man and expressing a sentiment that will be relatable to any parent. “Praising You” fuses an R&B arrangement with lyrics that express Jasper’s deep religious faith and gratitude for what God has done for him.

    Jasper is at his absolute best on the album’s two romantic tunes, “Hey Love” and “I Promise.” The latter has a mid-tempo stepper’s vibe with lyrics that talk of making a lifetime commitment, “I Promise” is an ideal wedding song. The breezy “Hey Love” finds Jasper taking a passionate yet conversational tone as he expresses how important his woman is to him while sweetly imploring her to let her feelings flow.

    Christopher Jasper’s music has an identifiable sound that comes through in the artist’s world view and attitude as well as musical choices he makes. In world where so much is changing that familiarity is comforting, inspiring and enjoyable. Recommended.

    By Howard Dukes

     
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