At the dawn of 2019, Kanye West began his year-long transformation as a born-again Christian, culminating with the release of his gospel-influenced, cuss-free album, Jesus Is King, which was elevated by the backing of his own Sunday Service Choir.
Three months after making their official studio debut on Jesus Is King, the group took a turn in the spotlight with their own effort, the powerful Jesus Is Born.
Released on Christmas Day, the album was imbued by the influences of traditional gospel predecessors such as the Clark Sisters ("Balm in Gilead"), Reverend Timothy Wright ("Count Your Blessings"), and Richard Smallwood ("Total Praise"), while also interpolating and reimagining pop favorites from SWV ("Rain" and "Work"), Sia (album highlight "Lift Up Your Voices"), and Soul II Soul ("Back to Life"), which are transformed into songs of faith.
Although West doesn't appear vocally on the record, his production touches can be subtly heard throughout and the choir offers fresh takes on moments from The Life of Pablo, resulting in "Ultralight Beam," "Faith," and "Father Stretch." Without West's voice and personality as a distraction, the Sunday Service Choir is allowed to shine, delivering an inspirational, empowering, and utterly positive dose of purity that nourishes the soul.