Almost everyone loves gospel songs. After all – it is inspirational music about good news and hope and warms the heart without demanding religious belief. But what in God’s name makes these songs so enjoyable? Why are they music to one’s ears? Is it because of the simple yet unique melodies, the soft or rocking grooves, or the prayer wheel-like verses that are sung alternately by a soloist and chorus? Elvis fans might well be able to answer this question just by taking a quick look at the cover, while other more undiscerning lovers of black folk spirituality would say that this is a well-produced, professional album that cannot be equalled.
Elvis lets his young, flexible voice swing sonorously here, lightly and airily there, all the while supported by a top-notch vocal backing group. The rich vocal harmonies are sung with true passion, and it is certainly no coincidence that one is reminded of the sound of the Golden Gate Quartet. In one moment the voices soar to celestial heights, in another they plunge down to a deep rumbling bass, not to forget the soft and springy rhythm section. For John Bush (allmusic.com), »this LP isn’t just one of Elvis’ best LPs, it’s one of the best (and best-recorded) gospel sessions of all time.«