Album info

Artist: Isaac Carree
Release Date: 2020
Runtime: 56:22

Isaac Carree – No Risk No Reward

Isaac Carree – No Risk No Reward

Revered gospel vocalist/songwriter Isaac Carree has been away from the scene for the better part of a decade. The longtime Men of Standard member, who also lent his vocals throughout the 2000s to the likes of Kirk Franklin, Michelle Williams, and 112 (on the suggestive “Knock U Down,” no less), left a lasting impact with 2011’s Uncommon Me and 2013’s Reset. On his third solo set, No Risk No Reward, he picks up the pieces with an eclectic and generally consistent set of songs weaving together messages of devotion to a higher power and commitment in human relationships.

The opening “Love Affair” encapsulates the album’s overriding theme of a man assimilating his personal relationship with God into his daily actions as a husband. Though Carree’s lyrical approach is traditional in some regards, the musical outlets through which he delivers it vary to an impressive degree—making for a continually engaging listening experience. “Love Affair” coasts along on an ‘80s synth-funk-nuanced track which proves a stylish fit for his vigorous vocals. Also possessing an appealingly rhythmic foundation, “Ordinary Just Won’t Do,” featuring no less than four guest vocalists, is effective in its supple keyboard layerings running alongside a heartfelt call for heavenly guidance.

Outside of bridging gospel vocals with R&B-structured songs, Carree also explores country music terrain via the Harold Lilly-penned “Woman First.” Here, he conveys his priority of true marital devotion through prayer over a steel guitar/fiddle/keyboard arrangement providing contemplative texture for his candid tone and pensive self harmonies. Exploring a more time-honored platform for gospel expression, the very church-y, choir-fueled “What Kind of Man” is impactful with the assistance of singer Lisa Knowles and the