Andrae Crouch - The Light Years

Thursday 1st August 1996
Andrae Crouch - The Light Years
Andrae Crouch - The Light Years

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Light 5141651562

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

This album contains some of the highlights of Crouch's recordings for Light Records in the '70s. This gives you the birthplace of contemporary gospel where Crouch took traditional gospel and allowed his growing love for '70s' soul and funk to develop a new genre. "I'm Gonna Keep On Singing" may sound like a Coke advert but it's part of the evolutionary line - the missing link between the Caravans and the Winans. Listening to this you can see the creation of contemporary gospel unfolding with earlier anthems like "I've Got Confidence" which still sound supremely exuberant two decades later and the live rendition of "Jesus Is The Answer" - probably Crouch's biggest "hit". "Just Like He Said He Would" will be familiar to new devotees of CCM through Clay Crosse's recent cover version and the solid line up of gospel classics continues with "Soon And Very Soon" (again, much covered). As the decade progressed, Crouch's material headed more firmly into contemporary soul and funk with tunes like "This Is Another Day", "It's Gonna Rain" and "Perfect Peace" with their Earth Wind And Fire influences. After the Crouch headed off into crossover territory, controversy and eventually work with Michael Jackson. This album sums up what most of his fans conceive to be the years when Crouch was at the height of his influence and ministry and I'm not going to disagree. Like all "best ofs" there are always sins of omission where your favourite tracks aren't present. Someone at Light needs to say 10 Hail Marys and a few how's yer fathers for not including "Jesus Is Lord", surely Crouch at his might funkiest! That quibble aside, this is a great place to start if you want to discover the music of the man who laid the foundations for modern gospel. These stonking tunes still have their original power to delight and encourage.

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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