IT’S HARD NOT to believe in a higher power while listening to Aaron Neville sing. No earthly co-incidence of biology could be responsible for that angelic voice.

Neville’s latest, I Know I’ve Been Changed from earlier this year, is a collection of his favorite gospel songs. The words thus proclaim a love for Jesus Christ, but the music – a seemingly effortless bluesy gospel backing from his New Orleans peers – brings a sense of peace and hope that transcends a particular faith.

It is not, in other words, an album to shy away from because you don’t happen to like religion. It is an album that makes troubles go away. Credit God, credit Aaron Neville or just accept a well-meant gift.

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