STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 24210-VTI3453 LABEL: Beulah Land FKB1 FORMAT: 12 inch vinyl EP
Reviewed by James Attlee
A brand new artist on a brand new label. Freddie Kofi is probably principally known to those on the black gospel circuit as guitarist and musical director for Nottingham singer Barbara Brooks who incidentally sings backing on this recording. He's also a young man of vision - with help from the Prince's Youth Business Trust and Nottingham County Council he's set up his own label, for which this E.P.is the first release. And an excellent debut it is - the arrangements are inventive and Feddie's vocals are strong throughout, with a richness that sounds more Detroit than Nottingham. Stand out track of the four for me is the opener "United We Stand", which starts with unaccompanied backing vocals, before launching into a song that conveys a strong call to unity via a melody that latches onto the memory banks after the first hearing, over a groove many a US gospel superstar wouldn't sniff at. The ballad and title track "Searching For Love" treads for me slightly too near MOR territory, but side two has more pleasant surprises. "Signs Of The Times" is a timely look at the current world situation from a Biblical perspective, powered by a mighty synth bass line, with another impassioned vocal performance from Kofi set off by an interesting backing vocal arrangement. The final track "Many Rocky Roads", is even more unusual for the genre, in that it is accompanied solely by Freddie's acoustic guitar. This is a man who's clearly not afraid of innovation. Freddie Kofi will be a name to watch in British gospel in the 90's.
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