Title: No Risk, No Reward
Artist: Isaac Carree
Label: Shanachie Ent.
Formats: CD, Digital
Release date: March 20, 2020
After a seven year hiatus, Isaac Carree has finally released a new solo project, No Risk, No Reward. According to Carree, the title of the album echoes his mantra: “If you never take risk, you will never get the ultimate reward.” So far Carree’s “no risk, no reward” behavior has landed him at #1 on Gospel Billboard and Gospel Radio charts multiple times, and his new release is likely to follow this path to the top of the charts.
Isaac Carree launched his career as a soloist with John P. Kee & New Life Community Choir in the early 1990s. He later garnered much success with his gospel quartet group, Men of Standard, before releasing his first solo album, Uncommon Me, in 2011 which included the successful hit “In the Middle of It.” His second solo album, Reset, followed in 2013. During his recording hiatus, Carree had the opportunity to branch out from gospel music, touring with P. Diddy on the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour in 2016 as well as country artists Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their 2017 Soul2Soul World Tour. On his new album, Carree was paired with Grammy award winning producer and songwriter, Blac Elvis, known for his work with the likes of Ginuwine, T.I., and Rick Ross as well as R&B artists ranging from Jill Scott to Beyoncé.
No Risk, No Reward features the sound of both gospel and inspirational R&B music. The album’s first charted single, “HER,” along with the preceding tracks “Love Affair (featuring Jazze Pha)” and “Amen” (featuring MR. TALKBOX), are a tribute to Carree’s wife. These songs make an explicit connection between the couple’s love for each other and their love of God. Carree says, “I love my wife… she deserves NOTHING but the best!”
Other notable recordings on the album include the country ballad “Woman First” which highlights members of Tim McGraw’s band: keyboardist Billy Nobel, guitarists Bob Miner and Denny Hemingson, and fiddler Deano Brown. Carree’s collaboration with gospel singers Eric Dawkins, Gene Moore, Zacardi Cortez and Jason Nelson on “Ordinary Just Won’t Do” is a tribute to the popular gospel recording group Commissioned, who released the hit song in 1989. Carree additionally collaborates with gospel artists Kirk Franklin (on the Interlude “Love”), Lisa Knowles & The Brown Singers (“What Kind of Man”), and Parker Dawkins (“The Win”), among others.
Carree does not disappoint with this new and much-anticipated release. “Anyone who knows me knows that I like to take musical risk.” No Risk, No Reward pushes the envelope, giving listeners the opportunity to experience beautiful musically nuanced project full of love and praise to God.
Reviewed by Bobby E. Davis Jr.