Steve Ladd is a man steeped in gospel-oriented ministry, whether serving the homeless in Nashville or singing with other famous gospel groups like Gold City. But any believer who has tried sharing the good news knows how daunting the task that can be. On his latest EP, No Excuses, No Regrets, Ladd exhibits zeal to be a faithful witness in spite of any opposition that could silence his voice.
Things get started with the peppy country/gospel single "All Things Are Possible God." It's a good opener that catches your attention, establishing who God is and underlining His power. This serves to lead in to "Chain Breaker," more CCM in its sound, yet very pointed in its gospel message. "What You've Already Done" is the softest song in the set and also very encouraging. By remembering who God is (as the first track establishes), Ladd finds patience in doubt and hope in how God has already worked in his life. The title track picks the beat back up and addresses trepidation in sharing the gospel. This song also carries some of the smartest lyrics in the collection with lines like, "When I make no excuses, I have no regrets." It's a simple yet profound way of looking at the issue. If I stopped making excuses in sharing the gospel, I wouldn't regret missed opportunities!
At this point, the EP stumbles with "Since I Laid My Burden Down" and "Living Water." Both dive head-first into the deep end of the Southern gospel pool and although they work in their own right, "Since I Laid My Burden Down" gets repetitive and "Living Water" sounds like many of the church specials I heard growing up, complete with swelling horns, choirs, and key changes. The main highlight of these tunes is that Ladd cuts loose on vocals and showcases his range.
The songs on No Excuses, No Regrets are slickly produced and work well in their context, though there is nothing particularly memorable about them when the music stops. What's impressive is how they all neatly lend themselves to this theme of evangelism. Ladd simultaneously struggles in faith and boldly proclaims the gospel, showing that we may not be perfect but we should never be silent. He has a powerful and versatile voice that has served him well in various mediums. Ladd's involvement with Gold City earned him a spot in the GMA Hall of Fame recently, and he looks to continue his hot streak with No Excuses, No Regrets.
- Review date: 6/7/17, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com