STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 51323-14854 LABEL: ACM ACMGOSP1 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-10-31 RRP: £10.21
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Guildford's Academy of Contemporary Music counts stars such as Sugababe Amelle Berrabah and singer/songwriter Newton Faulkner amongst its graduates and this release sees the work of its gospel choir take centre stage. Musical director Mark De-Lisser has succeeded in nurturing a group of young singers to produce a mature sound that took them to the semi finals of BBC 1's recent Last Choir Standing competition. Supported by a suitably tight backing band, standout tracks include earnest covers of the Mary Mary songs "Shackles" and "I Just Can't Give Up Now" which showcase the talents of soloists and choir alike. It has to be said that ACM have played it safe in pitching the album at a mass talent search audience and covering familiar pseudo gospel songs - Bob Marley's Rastafarian classic "One Love" and R Kelly's ode to self belief "I Believe I Can Fly" amongst others. But God's name is lifted high elsewhere in stirring versions of Kirk Franklin's "He Reigns" and the traditional "Joyful, Joyful" á la Sister Act. Only pedestrian readings of "Lean On Me" and the obligatory "Oh Happy Day" let the side down.
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The debut album from the ACM Gospel Choir, semifinalists in the BBC ‘Last Choir Standing’ competition.
During the summer of 2008, millions of viewers tuned in to prime time BBC 1 on Saturday evenings to watch the gripping ‘Last Choir Standing’ competition. The ACM Gospel Choir were a huge hit with viewers and judges alike, winning more fans every week and garnering great praise from the likes of Russell Watson. Eventually making it through to the final 4 of the whole competition, the choir now proudly release their debut album, featuring a superb mix of gospel styles which MD Mark De-Lisser calls ‘New Gospel’.