STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 6771-6719 LABEL: Beracah Light Year 545602 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
There isn’t a woman I know who isn’t overawed by the prospect of living up to Proverbs 31 and yet here’s Candi Staton singing “I am a Proverbs 31 woman” on the opening title cut of her latest album. Young hearts run free indeed! It’s been five years since she hit the charts with The Source and “You Got The Love” and this release coincides with the re-release of her two classic ‘70s disco albums. I wasn’t sure whether we’d ever get another gospel project out of her since there were rumours that she was very disillusioned with the gospel scene but here she is sounding vibrant. As you’d imagine her voice is as soulful as ever and on the standout tracks she demonstrates that she still has the chops. She’s also got a desire to communicate with other women so “I Need To Make Some Changes” is dedicated in her spoken introduction to women who have been abused. The next track continues the theme and so “Change In My Life” bounces along on a bed of solid dance pop. The album effectively mixes dance pop and R&B grooves which work for most of the time. So “Hallelujah Anyway” and “I Rest My Case” are both an inspiration but I am not convinced about the attempt of reggae on “Tell It”. Things flatline a little with the more traditional gospel of “When There’s Nothing Left But God” and “Glory Glory Glory” which are both unoriginal and a tad pedestrian. The ballad “You Gonna Be Alright” is meant as an encouragement but sounds too much like a Coke advert for these ears. September 11th looms large for a medley of American patriot songs which turn my stomach when I think of their desire to invade Iraq. (Question: do such songs belong on a gospel album? Isn’t patriotism anti Kingdom of God? Answers on a postcard!) The album could have flopped to a horrible end at this point if Candi hadn’t added two songs, the uplifting “Brand New Hope” and “Did You Finish Your Assignment” which encourages us to view our lives from the eternal perspective of Heaven. Will we have done everything God called us to do? Always good to be reminded of that! And what about this album? Best when she’s upbeat or ministering to those who have been hurt but at times cloying in sentiment. But whatever the downside, it’s great to have Candi singing gospel.
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