Reviewed by Phil Thomson
Here we have, arguably, one of the finest voices ever to grace the British pop industry. After a lengthy hiatus the smoky voiced songstress returns with a new set again demonstrating her Messianic Christian faith. Here the veteran again demonstrates her effortless style and virtuosity in such titles as "Bless The Lord Oh My Soul", "What Manner Of Man Is This", "Rivers Of Babylon", "He Giveth More Grace". Want a few facts? Helen Shapiro had sold millions of albums around the world by the age of 16, in more recent decades had 17 years as lead jazz vocalist with the legendary band leader Humphrey Lyttleton, and back in the early '60s, The Beatles first national tour was as her support act. Now, while longevity is not always a virtue in the music world, "What Wondrous Love Is This" is an example of someone who just gets better and better. It's Shapiro's first Christian album in 12 years and is a masterpiece; assured, celebratory, constantly surprising. What else? Oh yes, at times poignant, at times theatrical - mostly, a brassy, bluesy jazz-tinged and deeply felt testament to her Jewish roots, full of Biblically-based lyrics and inspired arrangements to bless the soul. I am truly grateful Miss Shapiro's remarkable career is still baring fruit.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
What Wondrous Love Is This heralds the stylish return of Helen Shapiro with her first Gospel album for more than 12 years. Helen’s Jewish roots underpin lyrics which are permeated with worship and reverence, while elements of Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Swing and Samba wrap her ever distinctive voice in a sophisticated surround.
While her songs are soaked in Praise, they are delivered with both power and poise, strength and subtlety, always oozing the kind of class that has earned this celebrated singer such an international reputation.