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on May 3, 2005
People may be surprised that Ruben Studdard's latest album, I Need an Angel, is a gospel album, but in my opinion, this is really what he should have been doing in the first place. Like most of the other reviewers on here, I didn't really care for Soulful because the lyrics weren't that great and also because he wasn't singing quite as well as he sang on Idol. But this album is quite an improvement.

It's really kind of hard to ruin a gospel album -- well, unless you can't sing (Michelle Williams' Heart to Yours, anyone?). And with this album, Ruben finally has a chance to let his vocals soar because when you're singing gospel, your voice can't help but to sing with pure emotion. There are great songs on here, including "Center of My Joy" and Marvin Winans' "Restoration". Ruben also does well with the standards "Amazing Grace", "I Surrender All" and "Shout to the Lord".

An album in this day and age doesn't seem complete without an R. Kelly-penned song (especially a gospel album), so the title track is a major highlight. Actually, none of the songs on here are really bad. But I have not forgotten that "We Have Not Forgotten" (with Fred Hammond) was already on Ruben's first album, so it really doesn't need to be on HERE. Oh well, switching to gospel still proved successful in this case. Did Ruben take the easy way out? Maybe, but at least it resulted in quite an enjoyable listen.

Anthony Rupert
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on December 28, 2004
I have loved Ruben from the start, and own his other cd in addition to this one. I sense that he is much more comfortable with this style of music and therefore this cd is better than his first. I really enjoy this one.
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on February 11, 2005
This album has to be in my top 5 albums in my cd collection. what a voice this man has got. He is a legend. I am a great fan of AI and was so glad ruben won it. I think he is the best AI winner so far.

This album is great because it relly shows how great and powerful his voice is. Whereas his debut album "SOULFUL"didnt as much as this one. Although it still deserves 4 stars.

Every song on this album is brilliant, whuich all show you exactly why ruben won AI2. My favourites on the album are,"I NEED AN ANGEL" and "AMAZING GRACE". These are two songs that make me go all tingly everytime i hear them. He has got this nice, smooth, soulful voice that is just one in a million. IF ONLY I COULD SING LIKE THIS MAN!!!

If tou are looking for an album that will make you feel all happy and can really get into, this is a must for you.

I absolutely love this album and love rubens voice, you definately have to buy this album. youll love it. 5 **** all the way.
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on December 17, 2004
I purchased this cd yesterday and I am really glad I did. I really think that Ruben Studdard has a future in gospel music.

I was surprised by the reviews saying there wasn't one enjoyable track on the album. Because of all the R&B Hip/Hop gospel out there we have lost our appreciation for more traditional songs. You know the kind where you can understand the lyrics! The title track is wonderful and I had tell myself to take it off repeat. Other great tracks are Restoration, Don't Give Up, his rendition of Goin Up Yonder, Running Back to You and his original tune with Fred Hammond. The only reason why I didn't give the album five stars is because I think Ruben has not really shown us his maximum potential vocally. I wish people who can't sing and are not in his shoes would give this man a break and allow him time to develop his craft. Buy the cd. You will be glad you did.
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on November 29, 2004
If you examine the criticism for this product on the Amazon site, you'll notice most concur that this is the product Ruben and his team should have delivered to the world initially. Unfortunately the previous release was molded by BMG hoping to cast Ruben into a pop format. They should have allowed the artist to follow his OWN musical instincts, as it seems to be the case with this project.

The first track on this CD is a perfect blend of gospel and pop. Ruben provides warm vocals that are tender, emotional and "Luther"esque! Fans of his performances on AI will be more than pleased.

This CD may not be the ideal product for the average member of the 12-year-old Britney crowd. It is however the ideal product for a mature audience capable of appreciating musical production as well as the sheer level of emotional beauty in Ruben's vocals. The content of the CD is compelling yet be warned it is rooted in gospel. It's surprising but this may be the gospel CD that could break wide open the gospel musical format into mainstream top 40.
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on November 24, 2004
This CD is absolutely beautiful. I find the best way to truly review a CD is to be alone in my car and listen to each song very loud so I can focus on the music. THIS CD GIVES ME CHILLS! The Ruben I came to love on American Idol is back with an incredibly powerful message and one that will bring inspiration to everyone. The fast gospel songs make you dance along and lift you up. The slow songs are gorgeous and fill you with emotion. His voice sounds so smooth and sultry, and you can truly tell he is showing off his vocal abilities on this album. The gospel classics are a joy to listen to, with a new spin. The gospel choir sings along in many of the songs, which is a nice addition. I played this for 20 people in my church last night and many are planning to go buy it b/c they were blown away! Everyone needs a copy of Ruben's latest CD!
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on March 30, 2005
When you hear gospel CD's nowadays, its hard find a good cd with songs that stir your soul plus are funky.

Ruben did it. He remakes some classic gospel songs that any lover of gospel old or young, would be thrilled to hear.

If you liked Smokey Norkful first album, then this one you definitely need to get.

I have not had to skip any songs while playing the CD through.

It is the right blend.. soul, funk, and the ministry to your spirit.
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on December 20, 2004
This artist is definitely a breath of fresh air. Mr Studdard's new album INAA.... is not traditional old school gospel, but there is a new wave of contemporary gospel artist that have been emerging for some time now. I could see people of the old school saying, "leave the traditional alone, it is supposed to be sung with reverence", and I have to respect them for that, but every artist needs a space to breathe in this industry to develop their own craft. Why can't a contemporary artist bring something NEW to the table. This album was well put together. Mr studdard has a wonderful voice which lends beautifully to the renditions on this album. The song choices are wonderful, and the arrangements are great. Some of my favourites are Restoration, Running back to you, Center of my joy, I surrender all, I need an Angel, Amazing Grace, Don't give up, Going up yonder, in fact all the songs are inspiring in my opinion. This is an album that anyone who can embrace change, or likes gospel music period, can certainly enjoy. I agree we all have our own taste in music, it all depends on what flavor we choose. Why not choose a new/different flavor, who knows you just might love it. Highly recommended, you would not regret purchasing this album.
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on December 30, 2004
Congrats to Ruben. Just that easily, "I need an Angel tops many Gospels fan's top spot for 2004. I love this song. He also does great renditions of the gospel cuts we all grew up singing and listening to!
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on December 6, 2004
Bought the CD because I love Ruben's voice and not because I like gospel music. However, after listening to the tracks on INAA, I'm converted to the genre. The songs and Ruben's rendition are simply amazing. What a soulful, uplifting, silky, smooth sound this artist brings to the table. My favorites are "Don't You Give Up" and "Shout to the Lord" but all are beautiful.
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