Kevin LeVar and One Sound
Destiny—Live at the Dream Center…and More
OneSound Entertainment LLC (August, 2014)
By Bob Marovich
Singer-songwriter Kevin LeVar is among the new generation of male gospel crooners that includes Earnest Pugh, Micah Stampley, Keith Williams, and Brian Courtney Wilson. He also knows how to craft a memorable melody, as demonstrated by his singles, “A Heart That Forgives,” “We’re Only Getting Started,” and “You Are Not Alone.”
Ballads have been, and continue to be, LeVar’s sweet spot, and he adds two more to his oeuvre on Destiny—Live at the Dream Center…and More. The songs, “Your Destiny” and the inspirational “Born To Be Great,” were recorded in the studio and therefore part of the “more,” as is “A Heart That Forgives,” re-released here for listeners who may have missed it the first time around. “Born To Be Great” is the higher intensity selection, a Bruce Springsteen-esque, Olympic-sized anthem to overcoming obstacles and reaching for one’s goals.
The remainder of the album was recorded live at the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles. It finds LeVar performing a variety of songs. On the spicy “Jesus Blues,” God is disappointed about the lost world He loves so much. “Get Out the Boat” has a snappy Broadway jazziness to it. “I Wanna Be Close” will resonate with church workers who are so busy organizing the services that they have neglected their personal relationship with God. It is evident this song hit home with the live audience, as demonstrated by their exhortations on the song’s reprise. The song certainly recalled my own experience as a music minister. For many years, I was so focused on handling the details of the music portions of the service that I had to leave active music ministry to reclaim for myself the spirituality of the worship experience.
The live performance moves into an atmospheric P&W section, featuring the delicate if conventional praisers “All We Need is a Word,” “Still, Such an Awesome God,” and “Whatever It Takes.” The album finishes strong with a string of high energy selections.
Destiny—Live at the Dream Center…and More is Kevin LeVar and One Sound sustaining the contemporary gospel/P&W style for which they are known.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Your Destiny,” “Born To Be Great.”