Isaac Carree has departed from the popular praise & worship wave in gospel music with his latest release “No Risk, No Reward.”
His highly anticipated arrives after a near 7-year absence from the charts. During that time, Carree has penned a book and recently began broadcasting “Good Vibes,” a music program on Kirk Franklin’s Praise, a SiriusXM station.
“Sometimes you’re working so hard and going from one event to the next that you get so caught up in the hustle and bustle…you very rarely get to step back and be thankful for the journey,” Carree says of the motivation behind his 2017 memoir.
That reflection paid off in dividends with the message, music and ministry of “No Risk, No Reward.” The project brings the strong and melodic vocals the North Carolina native is known for, but intentionally weaves a thread of love throughout the entire project.
“I started feeling like there was a void in other styles of gospel music,” Carree says. “I’m more of a contemporary [artist]. I add a different flavor [to the industry landscape], so I wanted to come back and just add my flavor to what’s already out there.”
Listeners and fans can look no further than the album’s lead single, “HER”, for confirmation that Carree is bringing new flavor with this project. The love song’s production is reminiscent of R&B golden age with vocals that prove Carree grew up listening to everyone from Stevie Wonder to Kim Burrell. The lyrics acknowledge both God’s love and the tenor’s own love for his wife of 16 years, Dietra.
Diving even deeper into the personal, Carree and his wife chose to recreate pivotal and private moments from their marriage journey for the music video directed by Uri Israel.
“We actually renewed our vows at the video shoot. She was flabbergasted. She didn’t know we were actually doing that,” he says of scenes showing the couple being wed by Pastor John Gray.
All forms of love take center stage on “No Risk, No Reward.” Ahead of scheduled release, “Legend” was released along with a lyrics video on YouTube to pay homage to basketball great, Kobe Bryant, and other legends throughout history. The song focuses of self-love and challenging the status quo, things Carree does both personally and professionally.
“I made a conscious decision to stand up and speak out for women,” he says. “Women don’t get the same opportunities. They don’t get the respect they deserve or equal pay. And I kind of wanted to deal with that in some capacity and say that it doesn’t take anything away from me as a man to stand up for a woman.”
Carree’s sentiments are clearly felt on the album’s fifth track, “Woman First.”
“No Risk, No Reward” serves up warm vocals, dance-worthy production and through-provoking lyricism. The project proves that God’s love can be showcased beyond the first 15 minutes of church.