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Picks and Pans Review: Rise and Shine

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Randy Travis (Word)

You can bet that the Heavenly Chorus is saving a place for Randy Travis. The country veteran’s second spiritual album—following 2000’s Inspirational Journey—confirms his standing as a first-rate gospel singer. Travis is never sanctimonious on this Christian disc; “Three Wooden Crosses” has a casual, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” spirit to it. Another highlight, “Jerusalem’s Cry,” which Travis and two cowriters based on a verse from the Book of Revelations, has a contemporary bluegrass feel. “Everywhere We Go,” which reflects the singer’s support for the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer in schools, is a little heavy-handed. But Travis’s deep, ingratiating voice redeems even that excess.

BOTTOM LINE: Say Amen