Marnell - Come To The Manger

Published Wednesday 25th March 2009
Marnell - Come To The Manger
Marnell - Come To The Manger

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 74758-15141
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Andy Cooper

Marnell is a singer from Virginia, USA, with a deep rich voice and a love of gospel music. The style for this Christmas album, his third CD, is more easy going and peaceful though. The voice is the focus, and the accompaniments are kept smooth and simple: drums don't appear until half way through the third song, for example. Acoustic piano and sampled strings are used a lot, with classical guitar and some woodwinds adding to the soothing textures. Marnell's voice then, is a powerful, warm and rich baritone, with a deep almost operatic vibrato. He sounds pretty much like he looks actually: big, smiley and comforting. There's not a lot of variety or versatility to be witnessed from his style though, but he must know that, and sticks to that which works well for him: fairly slow tempos, songs that tell heart warming stories, and lush yet simple classical arrangements. Interestingly Marnell came to England to record the album, and a number of the songs have been penned by a US Senator from Utah. Even though the vocals can become a little mesmerising in their constant delivery, it's a well focused album, with a pleasing variety of new songs, carols such as "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night", and an operatic version of "Ave Maria". If, next Christmas, you're looking to soak in some seasonal peace, this is a good place to begin.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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