Smokie Norful - Life Changing (2006)

Smokie Norful
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Smokie Norful has experienced a number of changes in the two years since his Grammy-winning Nothing Without You, including parenthood and a pastorate at Victory Cathedral Worship Center near Chicago, and these changes have committed him more to his role as a worship leader for his newest album, Life Changing.  As on his two previous smash releases, here Norful again relies a series on melodic, impeccably produced songs and his clear tenor voice, which appears even more expressive on the new disc than on previous outings.

Life Changing has its share of solid upbeat tunes, including "Celebrate" and "Great and Mighty," but it is the ballads that make the album shine, including "In Time," "Um Good" and the beautiful Tommy Sims-produced "Where Would I Be."  Best of all, though, is Norful's gorgeous cover of "Run to You," a version that is even better than the revered Whitney Houston original.

Smokie Norful has experienced a number of changes in the two years since his Grammy-winning Nothing Without You, including parenthood and a pastorate at Victory Cathedral Worship Center near Chicago, and these changes have committed him more to his role as a worship leader for his newest album, Life Changing.  As on his two previous smash releases, here Norful again relies a series on melodic, impeccably produced songs and his clear tenor voice, which appears even more expressive on the new disc than on previous outings.

Life Changing has its share of solid upbeat tunes, including "Celebrate" and "Great and Mighty," but it is the ballads that make the album shine, including "In Time," "Um Good" and the beautiful Tommy Sims-produced "Where Would I Be."  Best of all, though, is Norful's gorgeous cover of "Run to You," a version that is even better than the revered Whitney Houston original.

Smokie Norful has created his career not as a musical pioneer, but as a mainstream artist who has brought a strong sense of melody and accessibility to Gospel music that few can match.  And Life Changing is another fine outing that should please his sizeable fan base.  Recommended.

By Chris Rizik

 
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