Richard Smallwood Singers - Video Collection

Saturday 1st June 1991
Richard Smallwood Singers - Video Collection

VHS

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 4 4 4 4
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11067-
LABEL: Word 8015089697
FORMAT: VHS video Music video

Reviewed by Colin Spotwood

Anyone acquainted with the boldness and originality of the Richard Smallwood style of Black Gospel will be disappointed with this video. I was left feeling I had watched a home-video of an all-welcome jam-session as for 50 minutes (not the advertised 60) I squirmed at everything from cream cake slap­stick to Dottie Jones' dotty hair-do. The video is set at a 'surprise' record release party for Richard Smallwood's recent album 'Portrait', which turns out to be half music and half chat-show. The frivolous atmosphere of this video conflicts with the highly spiritual and soul-rending music associated with the writing talents of Richard Smallwood and the vocal ability of his singers. If you're paying a tenner for a music video which, remember, has muffled sound reproduction, then in some ways the video should enhance and complement the music. Here, it doesn't. Give me the record any day. The prolific writer, pastor and singer (and what a bass voice!) Wintley Phipps is the special guest, who sings "The Potter". Wintley has changed his style of music over the last few years of which "The Potter" is typical. In comparison to the music on his first three albums, this song is bland and unstimulating. With a similar consequence is the result from the repeated use of the unique Richard Smallwood formula, from albums such as 'Psalms' through to 'Textures' to 'Vision' and finally to the current offering, 'Portrait'. The musical high-point of this video is the rightfully popular "Centre Of My Joy". The other five songs (yes, I counted only five) come from the album 'Portrait', probably the best song being the down-key, politically addressed "Some Day".

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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