STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 3882-613 LABEL: Warner Alliance WBD4159 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £10.20
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
A recent American magazine wrote, "Had there never been an Andrae Crouch there may have never been an Amy Grant, a Carman or even a BeBe And CeCe Winans." Very true; Andrae's unique blending of praise lyrics, rhythms taken from the hot R&B of the day (first Motown, later Earth Wind & Fire-style funk) and polyrhythmic vocal arrangements took black gospel out of the storefront and white gospel out the Southern Gospel backwater and forged styles and marketing opportunities for CCM to flourish. But that was a decade back. After winning a Grammy and a Dove for 'No Time To Lose' Andrae turned his back on gospel music and went in search of rich pickings in the secular sphere (everything from the sound track to 'The Colour Purple' to session work with Michael Jackson). But now in one of the most heralded comebacks in Christian music history, Andrae returns with ten songs recorded at his home studio. 'Mercy' kicks off with the double time piano driven "Give It All Back To Me" where the maestro is joined by his long time protégé Tata Vega (one of the all-time great voices in gospel or R&B). Next up, another long-time musical friend of Andrae's Krystle Murden soars soulfully on "Say So". One time R&B-heartthrob El DeBarge leads the down tempo "The Lord Is My Light" and although not the greatest singer Andrae equits himself well on "Nobody Else Like You" which also features an awesome solo by fusion jazzman Joe Sample. Wherever you look and listen memorable hooks and top-flight musicianship pop up on 'Mercy'. Can Andrae recapture the huge popularity he once held in the Christian music market? Wait and see...and in the meantime check out 'Mercy' for yourself.
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