STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10008-9577 LABEL: Vision Records & Entertainment VIS2327 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Chris Tozer
Candi Staton was the queen of Southern Soul music in the 'seventies with top ten hits like "Young Hearts Run Free" and "Nights On Broadway". She was twice nominated for a Grammy, and Elvis Presley was cited amongst her many fans. Interest in the disco diva has been recently rekindled since her 1991 hit "You Got The Love" was used in the closing scenes of the final episode of Sex In The City. But this long play compact disc features two gospel music albums that Candi recorded in the 1980's. 'Sing A Song', her third inspirational collection, was entirely self-composed - something quite unusual back then. Though there's nothing exceptional about her "Jesus set me free on Calvary" type-lyrics, the funky delivery was cutting edge stuff for the time - thanks, in part, to top notch session musicians such as the McCrarys and Ernie Watts. In stark contrast, Candi's following album here, 'Love Lifted Me' found her bowing to commercial demand for a collection of classic gospel hymns. Though following a path well trod by countless other singers 'returning to their roots' Candi makes this album special by personalizing the songs with inspirational sermonettes, ala Shirley Caesar. The only new track being the self-penned rapture anthem "Caught Up". Although the songs on these two albums are nowhere near the standard of her mainstream hits they do have the unmistakeable touch of class that hardly seems to date. Today's gospel music fans will enjoy this trip down memory lane.
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