Pass the Love
- reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Oct
Is it possible to think of early contemporary Christian music without noting the contributions of Larnelle Harris? Though he's probably best known for his work in the 1980s — including Grammy-winning duets with Sandi Patty, "More Than Wonderful," and "I've Just Seen Jesus," and the soaring inspirational tune "How Excellent Is Thy Name" — Harris is among several artists who have consistently produced high-quality, lyrically compelling music over the last three decades. The broad appeal of his music has allowed him to perform before audiences ranging from the President of the United States to Music City Tonight, the 700 Club, and Billy Graham Crusades. Indeed, Harris' music, with its explicitly Christian themes and easy sound, appeals to gospel and inspirational fans alike. If the CCM genre had an elder statesman, Harris definitely would be in the running.
On Pass the Love, his 19th album and first full studio release since 2000's
The title track features a chorus of sweet, lilting children's voices and lyrics inspired by Harris' involvement with child sponsorship through the relief agency World Vision. The overriding theme of
The pacing is comfortable, with upbeat songs interspersed with Harris' trademark ballads. In some places, heavy percussion and synthesizer give some of the uptempo songs a slightly dated feel. In addition, some R&B elements – such as Harris' whispered lyrics in "In His Name" – feel forced and don't work as well.
Longtime fans will find this album satisfying, though not particularly innovative. Still, that's not necessarily a bad thing. As a younger longtime fan, I found it to be a clean, comfortingly familiar effort from one of the industry greats.