Let Love Rule

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Ledisi's portrayal of Mahalia Jackson in Ava DuVernay's Selma was widely acclaimed, though that didn't prevent the Recording Academy from prioritizing ratings when they selected Beyoncé to perform in her place at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015. Ledisi graciously received her ninth Grammy nomination and continues to roll with Let Love Rule, an album rich with her characteristically positive and proud outlook and superhuman vocal skill. It's something of a milestone for Ledisi and long-term collaborator Rex Rideout, who have been recording together since 2007. The four songs they co-wrote are top of the line, showing they've only gained steam since then. The sweetly lingering "Here" and powerhouse ballad "All the Way" resemble covers of missing cuts off Street Player and Whitney Houston, respectively, while the hip-hop soul BJ the Chicago duet "Us 4Ever" and celebratory slow jam "High," comparatively contemporary in approach, are just behind them. Otherwise, there's pitch-perfect rocksteady in the form of the outspoken "Shot Down," fluid grooves through the title track and the John Legend-assisted "Give You More," and a motivational finale in the church with "If You Don't Mind," a Kirk Franklin collaboration. Ledisi doesn't leave out romantic heartache, either, with "Hello" and "Forgiveness" as affecting as the zeal that radiates throughout the remainder.

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