SOS - Ska Mass

Published Saturday 24th October 2015
SOS - Ska Mass
SOS - Ska Mass

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 158622-23363
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Helen Whitall

Reading-based SoS's experience leading ska worship over the years really shows. I often struggle with musical arrangements of church liturgy, as sometimes the traditional words feel like they've been shoehorned in, in a contrived manner, and don't scan all that well with the tune. Not so here. SoS have skilfully woven the music around the liturgy, and adapted the words to fit the tunes. Well-produced, the sound of the whole project is as bright, crisp, vibrant, and a little bit retro, as their cover art, and they instruct the listener to "play loud or not at all." The Mass begins with the uplifting "Gloria/Kyrie". The Gloria has a catchy, danceable tune with nice lyrical adaptations ("Glory to you who have shown us the light/Glory to you in celestial height..."). The track moves into a slower Kyrie interlude, before building back into the Gloria. This is followed by the "Creed" which bursts right in with trumpets before becoming more of a traditional energetic guitar-driven rock track, and I couldn't help singing along "Woa-oh! I believe in the Three-in-One." Next comes the "Eucharistic Prayer", set to fast ska! The music may be unconventional, but the traditional words and arrangement have been changed very little, with a leader (Michael Whiteman) and chorus singing responses together. The fast beat breaks down a little for emphasis when it reaches Jesus' instruction to "Take, eat..." before racing off again. "Sanctus Benedictus" segues straight from the "Eucharistic Prayer". With multipart singing and harmonies, it's a really nice arrangement. The final song, "Agnus Dei", is another upbeat ska track full of cries of "Ah yeah!" and "Oh! Hey!", but with a bit of bite too, ending on an exuberant ba-baaa flourish. The band offer to assist churches interested in hosting their own Ska Mass services. No doubt some will take them up on the offer.

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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