STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 722-3124 LABEL: MPCD40480 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
A few years ago I saw a spoof TV commercial in which legendary blues/jazz guitarist and singer BB King appealed for funds for an imaginary charity called "Blacks Without Soul", the aim of which was to rehabilitate black singers who'd forsaken the real stuff and were singing songs like "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree". On listening to this, I think Larnelle Harris might be a suitable case for treatment. Back in the early '70s Larnelle started in the jazz/funk gospel combo First Gear, playing drums and saxophone and doing a few vocals; later he went solo with a soul-tinged style. Down the years though, his residency in Nashville and his numerous Dove Awards seem to have turned his musical sensibilities to mush. This album, for instance, is mega-mega inspirational with enormous choirs and vast orchestras and florid, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink rearrangements of hymns and gospel songs. That would be daunting enough, but there's more: a melody of those two favourite quasi-spiritual anthems "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "I Believe". What more can I say? Fine if you like that sort of thing, but I suspect few in this green and pleasant land do. Truly cringe-worthy.
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