Wess Morgan

Under an Open Heaven, Vol. 1

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Wess Morgan sticks to a fairly traditional gospel approach on Under an Open Heaven, relying on a call-and-response style with his backup choir and a band prominently featuring a churchy organ. The songs are straightforward praise & worship, and when Morgan isn't anticipating the choruses of his songs, he acts as cheerleader. "I don't know what you came to do," he tells his audience during "I Will Sing of Your Great Love," "but I came to praise the Lord." Similarly, in "Praise Medley: Enter In/I Love You," he declares, "We didn't come here to play. … We came here to praise the name of Jesus." He does this notably on his big ballad hit, "I Choose to Worship." Unlike many gospel singers, Morgan is not heard doing much preaching or giving much personal testimony, at least as the album is edited; sometimes the tracks fade out while he is speaking. At one point, he does hint at his own story, however, when he notes that the judicial system was once after him. On the latter parts of the album, he tries some different musical styles, giving a Latin beat to "Sing Unto the Lord," adopting an Earth, Wind & Fire funk sound for "Under an Open Heaven," and turning over "I Cannot Fail the Lord" to one of his backup singers to treat like a traditional pop ballad of the mid-20th century. But for the most part, this is traditional gospel music, relying on Morgan's abundant enthusiasm to put it across.

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