Jesus Wants to Bless You
Heavenly Calm Records
By Bob Marovich
Those who attended the 2016 Rhythm of Gospel Awards weekend in Memphis, Tennessee, heard the singer and songwriter Sharon Moore perform “Jesus Wants to Bless You,” the title track of her latest album, in a number of showcases.
With a beat and melody evocative of A Taste of Honey’s 1978 disco hit, “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” Moore sings that Jesus doesn’t just want to bless you, he wants to “press down, shake it together” your blessings. That’s the songs hook. So many blessings you won’t have room to receive them.
So you’re gonna need a bigger house.
The entire album features songs cloaked in that same ‘70s dance club groove and that deliver simple church wisdom or unconditional praise. There is one message song, “Save Our Babies.” It’s a head shaker about the decline of the family and features a from-the-pulpit message from her husband, Pastor Roosevelt Moore.
Many of the album’s dozen songs lope along, though the tempo quickens on “Jesus Wants to Bless You,” “I Come to Praise Him,” and “Help Me Lift Jesus.” When during “Church on Fire,” Sharon Moore declares that it’s time to go back to the good old days, the “good old days” are represented not with warbling organ and hand clapping but with generous helpings of major seventh chords that give the song a 1960s Chicago soul feel.
All of this works for Moore, because her breathy, nasally vocals have plenty in common with early ‘70s R&B and soul singers. Even her take on the congregational favorite, “I Know it was the Blood,” has a contemporary flair.
The album notes are missing musician credits, which would have been helpful to identify those who gave the album its sonic palette drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards.
When she is not appearing on gospel programs, Sharon Moore is the First Lady of New Covenant Church of Jesus Christ, in Houston, Texas.
Three of Five Stars
Pick: “Jesus Wants to Bless You.”