Rev Benjamin Cone Jr - Birds In The Church

Wednesday 1st February 1995
Rev Benjamin Cone Jr - Birds In The Church

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Malaco

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I've long been a devotee of black preachers (it still needs to be fully documented how the classic 'straining preachers' of late 19th, early 20th century black church brought a rhythmic sensibility and musicality to the preaching ministry therefore laying many of the creative foundation stones for both rap and funk). So to encounter a new (to my ears) preaching reverend is always a pleasure. The Rev Cone has a rich, resonant basso profundo voice which rises to an excited and exciting rasp when he gets up a head of steam. What stops me heartily recommending this is that Malaco have decided to put a rhythm section (and even a snatch of the mighty Mississippi Mass Choir) behind the Rev and after a while the effect becomes wearing. The other problem is an exegetical one for seemingly Rev Cone takes for his preaching inspiration a book on ornithology, taking various birds and finding some characteristic of the feathered creature that has a parallel in the church. So we've got eagles - looking down on others; owls - doing things in the dark; woodpeckers - disturbing the peace; peacocks -showing off, etc, etc. Not all the birds are hawks in dove's clothing. There are also sparrows - a bird of trust; and chickens (chickens?) - sacrificing for God. An occasionally surreal album. But fascinating nonetheless.

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Reader Comments

Posted by bwattie in montgomery, west virginia @ 17:56 on Feb 8 2007

Pastor Cone,
I would love to hear more of your songs because I just love I'M COMING HOME. I play it all day long and I keep it in my cd player. Your voice is so rich and full of hope for the weary.

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