God's Work

LeAnn Rimes

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God's Work Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

God's Work opens with "Spaceship," a showstopping ballad where LeAnn Rimes is yearning for deliverance, suggesting that the album will be filled with the kind of showstoppers you'd expect from a vocalist who took home the crown on the fourth season of The Masked Singer. She may retain a taste for grand gestures, but God's Work does indeed deliver upon its titular promise: it's not a gospel album but rather a spiritual journey, one infused with questioning and hope. This interior quest allows Rimes to look far beyond herself, a widened perspective that is assisted by a number of guests including Aloe Blacc, Mickey Guyton, Ben Harper, Robert Randolph, Sheila E, Ledisi, and Ziggy Marley. That list of musicians suggests a diverse, inclusive record, which is generally true. "The Only," the track featuring Marley and Harper, may have a bit of a reggae lilt to its rhythm, but that's the exception to the rule; rather, Rimes fuses pop and world musics, occasionally adding a touch of country or soul as an accent. Most of God's Work unfolds at a stately pace that works its way to a forceful crescendo, a structure the album itself mirrors, as it concludes with the stirring Blacc duet "I Do." The dramatic air is heartfelt and striking, albeit a little monochromatic: it's an album delivered in grayscale, the sober execution suiting the probing songs but sounding slightly stifling over the course of 12 tracks.

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