Aaron Neville - Greatest Gospel Hits: 10 Songs

Published Sunday 5th April 2009
Aaron Neville - Greatest Gospel Hits: 10 Songs
Aaron Neville - Greatest Gospel Hits: 10 Songs

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50226-15094
LABEL: EMI Gospel 5099923718227
RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-07
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Mark Hewerdine

This compilation has the look of a hurriedly produced money-spinner bringing together tracks from just two albums in a no-frills package. However, this belies the quality of the content - 10 familiar gospel oldies given a run through by one of the great voices in R&B/pop. The cliché "he could make the Telephone Directory sound good" is appropriate to Aaron. The hoe-down favourite "I Saw The Light" is given a refreshingly laidback shuffle treatment, whilst the sparseness and passion of "Morning Has Broken" lift it way beyond memories of school assemblies. Neville's vocals are effortless throughout shifting from rich tenor to sweet falsetto on "If I Had A Hammer" and "I Shall Be Released". The musicianship is also first-rate, supportive and never attention-grabbing. The only criticism would be the tendency to drag the pace at times. Even a voice so magnificent is not enough to convincingly stretch "Jesus Loves Me" over four minutes, though listen out for some sumptuous backing vocals (a highlight throughout). The time and space provided on "Amazing Grace" on the other hand allow Neville to sweep and soar to dramatic and moving effect. So perhaps the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover" holds true - cheap packaging can't hide great music.

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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