Reviewed by George Luke
Before I begin, I have a question: what is this album meant to be about? None of the songs on it are called 'The Best of Both Worlds', so what is the significance or meaning of the title? We're not told. At the beginning, Charles says something about this being "a salute to Rev Clay Evans, Miss Loudella and Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church's musical history", but doesn't elaborate much beyond that. The liner notes don't offer much information beyond the fact that the album was "recorded live at Fellowship MB Church - Chicago, Illinois". It would have been nice to know in what context; was it a worship service? A special concert? Just a one-off gig to get a live album in the can? However, regardless of why it was recorded, this album is a pleasant, inspiring listen. The track "Awesome" has become something of an anthem in the past year, and has been drummed into my head thanks to my habit of listening to Donnie McClurkin's radio show whilst at work in the mornings. "Awesome" is one of six of the album's 13 tracks written by Charles; the other tracks were penned by, amongst others, Anita Wilson, Rick Robinson and that legendary composer of old, Mr P Domain. Charles and co were clearly enjoying themselves when they recorded this; if exuberant big-church-choir gospel jams are your thing, you will too.
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