Martina Arroyo - Spirituals

Saturday 1st February 1992
Martina Arroyo - Spirituals

STYLE: Classical
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 22655-
LABEL: Centaur 2060
FORMAT: CD Album

Reviewed by Dave Massey

If I was black I think I would be offended by a song entitled "I Stood On De Ribber Ob Jordan" - however Martina is black and presumably not bothered by it. Her musical interpretation cant be faulted and on songs like "City Called heaven" she puts in enough pathos to melt metal. For me though, the incongruity of an opera singer trying to get to grips with the sweat and grit of a negro spiritual is akin to asking Prince Charles to sleep on the streets of London for one night and expect him to understand from that one experience the frustrations and feelings of a homeless person- very nearly a pointless exercise. Despite that, there are many songs on this album ("Calvary", "Deep River" and "Nobody Knows" to name but a few) that have the power to make the old goose-bumps rise. But I attribute that more to the songwriting than the vehicle through which they are presented.

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 later date.

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