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On her latest album, My Savior, Carrie Underwood reaches back to her childhood church and revisits many of the hymns that she sang there. She learned these songs in a small Baptist church in Oklahoma, and most of these recordings would fit well in such a place. One might expect Underwood to let loose and use all the power she has in her voice on many of these hymns, but, for the most part, she places them in church rather than in the concert hall.

Her song choices, such as “Blessed Assurance,” “Just As I Am,” and “Victory in Jesus,” sit firmly in that southern gospel tradition that she knows so well. None of these arrangements are particularly unique, but they are all appropriate, and Underwood’s performances are spot-on.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness,” however, is the real stand-out on the album. Underwood is joined by Cece Winans to duet on the song, and the two of them deliver a tour-de-force performance that is worth hearing. In all these songs, Underwood’s delivery puts the song at the center instead of her amazing voice. What comes through the loudest is her sincerity. (Capitol Records)

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