Gospel is a national reissue of Brenda Lee's 1997 inspirational album Precious Memories, which was previously available only through her website and at personal appearances. Lee produced the album with husband Ronnie Shacklett and longtime guitarist Dave Powelson, and the recording values are as high as if it had been crafted for major label release. Newly remixed and remastered, Gospel has a different title, cover photo and track sequence from Precious Memories, but Lee says that the remixed version is "so good that it sounds like a completely new album." She sings a dozen gospel songs, all of which are well-known classics like "Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace" that afford Lee ample opportunity to display her expressive ballad style. The arrangements vary from the piano and vocal chorus of "Softly and Tenderly" to the sparse acoustic guitar accompaniment of "Unclouded Day," with an orientation toward slow, intensely spiritual songs. Lee's voice is in excellent form, and Sony must have agreed: While remixing the album for reissue at Sony's studios, the label invited her to record a new gospel album in 2004.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams