STYLE: Hymnody RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13704-9966 LABEL: Rambler 3430032 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Adrian Cherrill
Ashley Cleveland's last two studio offerings of self-penned material both gained critical plaudits and now she turns her attention to some of the hymns that inspired her in her youth. Along with husband, producer and guitarist Kenny Greenberg, Ashley applies a country rock-tinged treatment to a selection of well known classics, along with a splash of blues and gospel. It's fair to say that it is pretty predictable stuff, and although strong, Ashley's vocals are relatively unremarkable, but on the whole it's well crafted and there are some nice touches in the arrangements to help the traditional tunes fit the style better. Standout tracks are the lively versions of "Come Ye Sinners", "Power In The Blood" and "It Is Well", as well as the acoustic "Surely Goodness And Mercy" and the duet with veteran British hitmaker Steve Winwood on "I Need Thee Every Hour". Also worth a mention is the blues guitar on Thomas Dorsey's gospel warhorse "Precious Lord, Take My Hand". On the down side is the rather unnecessary bagpipe intro to "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today", which would be just fine without it. The temptation to jazz up every song, though, has certainly been very well resisted and the result is an enjoyable album that pays sincere tribute to the riches of hymnody.
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