“You really have to concentrate on your response to not just the people, but God,” said four-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Regina Belle about her second Gospel album, “Higher,” (and ninth recording project) on Pendulum Records. “I want to change people’s lives…I don’t have the luxury of just entertaining people.”
The soul-stirring project is so powerful, I must say, it made me take another look at the legendary vocalist, now First Lady of New Shield of Faith Ministries in Atlanta (headed by her husband John S. Battle, III). On June 5, 2012 Regina releases a project she can be sure, will change lives. Her first single off the “Higher” project is “Make an Example Out of Me” written by Micah and Heidi Stampley. The single reached the Top 20 Gospel Radio Charts. It is a testimony of her own experience after being diagnosed with a brain tumor – which she has made a full recovery from.
“Higher” is produced by Ray Davis, Ruben Rodriguez, Chris Walker and Belle. It has special guest appearances by Pastor Shirley Caesar, Kathy Taylor and Lowell Pye (Men of Standard).
“People inspire you to write songs for better or for worst,” Regina said when asked about her inspiration for some of the songs. “It reflects circumstances I went through with my health. I prayed that it would be used for the good, to be an example…to help somebody.”
“Higher” certainly did just that because one of my favorite cuts from the album helps me by giving me inspiration in the mornings -“God Must Have Been With You.” That selection is a powerful testimony of God’s grace and Regina puts her all into that number. Other favorites of mine include the first single “Make An Example Out of Me,” a passionate heartfelt prayer in song; “The Lord Is With You,” has a little Jazz flavor; “That’s How God Does,” has an Urban feel to it; “Coming Back,” a heartfelt song of God’s forgiveness; “We Win,” a nice R&B influenced selection targeted, I’m sure, to the younger listener; “Lord Of All,” a beautiful masterpiece with Jazz influence where Belle does unbelievable things with her voice, and “Been So Good,” featuring Shirley Caesar, is a rocking Praise & Worship offering.
“I always thought before, using music was to inspire people. Now I want to change people’s lives,” she concluded.