MUSIC : Karen Clark Sheard Set To Release New Album “DESTINED TO WIN” | @officialkcs
Four-time GRAMMY Award-winning legend Karen Clark Sheard releases her sixth solo album on Friday, July 17, 2015. Recorded live at Chicago’s House of Hope, Destined To Win is a powerful declaration of faith and victory, marked by the impeccable and unparalleled vocals of one of gospel music’s greatest treasures.
Longtime favorite Donald Lawrence is at the helm of production on the 10-track project, with co-production from Daniel Weatherspoon. A special Walmart edition also features a family moment in a special performance of Andraé Crouch’s “Where Jesus Is,” reuniting The Clark Sisters and daughter Kierra Sheard to join her on stage, along with famed vocalist Kim McFarland.
The album opens with the catchy “The Who Doesn’t Matter,” featuring Faith Evans. It’s a funk-vibed single, with its looping bass line from the 70′s classic “Good Times.” The project moves seamlessly into the percussive title track, “Destined To Win,” with Clark Sheard’s soprano vocal riffing across the vamp, before slowing to masterfully cover Richard Smallwood’s “The Resurrection,” with a grand and moving delivery, both from Clark Sheard and the project’s background vocalists (Donald Lawrence’s The Co.).
The project’s mellow but passionate first single, “Sunday AM,” leads into a remake of Clark Sheard’s own “Only Call On Jesus,” originally recorded in-studio on her sophomore album, Second Chance. The album’s second single, the hand-clapping and hard-hitting “My Words Have Power,” sonically walks the album back within the four walls of the church, though there’s absolutely no containing Clark Sheard’s powerhouse vocals by the time she hits the vamp. Any stones left unturned by its end are vocally demolished by the shout-inducing “Already Looking Better.”
Destined To Win rounds the bend with the encouraging “The Worst Is Over” (a re-worked version of “Your Latter,” which appeared on the 2010 Smokie Norful presents Victory Cathedral Choir) and an urban cover of the Planetshakers praise anthem, “My God Is Big,” produced by Clark Sheard’s son, J. Drew Sheard II. The album closes with a soulful treatment of “We Acknowledge You,” the opening track from Clark Sheard’s 2003 The Heavens Are Telling album.
The energy of this live recording is almost tangible, especially heard in the ear candy re-arrangements of some of her previously released material. For fans of KCS, Destined to Win harkens back to the days of her 1997 solo debut, Finally Karen. It’s got similar elements– Donald Lawrence, church-relatable (but still contemporary) songs and, of course, the signature soaring vocals of the one and only Karen Clark Sheard. The formula is a proven success, and that’s why it wins.
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