Shirley Caesar - A Miracle In Harlem

Sunday 1st June 1997
Shirley Caesar - A Miracle In Harlem
Shirley Caesar - A Miracle In Harlem

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Word 7019918603
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Pippa Rimmer

Veteran queen of gospel Shirley pulls it out of the bag again with some Big Time gospel numbers guaranteed to rouse even the most dormant soul. From the upbeat medley of "The World Can't Take It Away" to the evergreen "Sweep Through The City", Shirl and Hezekiah Walker's choir keep the pace snappy and fluid. The energy in this album is amazing! Shirley is one of the original gospel screamers with a passion so infectious she ought to come with a health warning! One of her recent outings was an appearance on the hit Preacher's Wife soundtrack with La Houston only this album's got 10 times more welly and guts. The style on "Miracle" is real ole time gospel in full flow. Even the slower tunes like "So Satisfied" still retain that passion and verve that characterise the whole album. A real stand out is the preachified "Don't Drive Your Mamma Away", which is a real heartfelt modern parable told by Shirl and backed by that testifyin', clappin' choir. If ever there was an album that Has Church, this is it! All the musical hooks are here - the choir vamping it up, spontaneous asides and a real sense that this album is going somewhere fast. Guaranteed to lift the spirit, whatever the weather.

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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