Reviewed by Phil Thomson
I really do not know what the point of this is meant to be. With a title straight out of a preachy instruction manual, heaps of silky purple on the sleeve and dreamy smiles on the upturned faces of the adoring, just-married couple, this is one product teetering on the edge of schmaltz. The Isaac Odeniran "live in Texas" project is black American gospel in all its finery, complete with two pages of small print thank yous. Quite frankly, that's more interesting than the music, since at least the fawning descriptions allow us a glimpse into the earnest Afro-American extended family; even the barrister gets a glowing mention. Essentially a dedication concert/service recorded live, its weakness is two-fold: a track list of mystifying banality using over-exposed covers - "All The Way To Calvary", "This Little Light Of Mine", "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", "It Is Well", etc - and a lead singer who can't sing. The choral support and band are as tight and focussed as you'd expect on this kind of circuit, particularly the understanding between the brass, organ and drums. That works. And there are worthy contributions from guest vocalists. It is the muffled, uneasy lounge-singer slur of the Odeniran vocals and the occasional ingratiating female interjection such as Little Debbie Dee which get in the way. At one point, a pacy, wonderfully sung full choir setting of "Blessed Assurance" almost rescues the set till Odeniran makes a mid-song appearance with chewing gum in his mouth. That is immediately followed, incongruously, by "Holy Walk", a ridiculous theatrical dialogue song, only to confirm this wholly unpleasant listen as a self-indulgent, schizophrenic and completely unnecessary release.
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