In parts of the United States (oddly, the disparate regions of the rural South and the urban Northeast) the sound of gospel music with a heavy jazz influence is a familiar sound. Thank You, the second album from the Chicago-based Masque sits squarely in this genre. Unlike some of the musicians on independent labels, all of the members of this group are competent musicians. They are also passionate about what they are doing; their performances, which are about 50/50 instrumental vs. vocal, have a clear energy. Unfortunately, nothing on the album pops out at the listener. In particular, the tracks featuring lead vocalist Andrea Love doing her best church-on-Sunday interpretations rarely rise above the workman-like nature of her performance. In fact, in a world of billions, I can’t imagine anybody calling anything on this album “my favorite song.” “Thank You” is a fine addition to someone’s collection if they want to sprinkle their music collection with some non-descript Gospel/Jazz. If you are looking for specific music that you want to listen to, stick to Kirk Franklin.
~review by John Casker and Lisa Mc Sherry
Meek Recording & Publishing Company