STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15989-11004 LABEL: Zoe 51635 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £10.00
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
When, due to bizarre corporate manoeuvrings, Word Records dropped all their black gospel acts (only to reactivate their gospel division when they saw how dumb that decision was) gospel diva Shirley Caesar got left high and dry. Now she has returned on the bright, new independent Artemis and let's hope this wonderful album is soon released in the UK. Shirley has long possessed one of the most soulful voices in the African American Church but anybody who thought that the grandmother was past her creative best have not reckoned with gospel crossover man Tonex. The opening cut here "I Know The Truth (Lies)" brings together the very best of the old and new - Shirley's sanctified hollering and call-and-response fire locked together with Tonex's raps and way with an urban groove. Producer Sanchez Harley even gets Shirley rapping on the climax of the song. A stone classic. If such a revolutionary approach is too much for Shirley's older listeners, there are plenty of old skool gospel on the rest of the album to keep trad fans happy, eg, "I've Been Redeemed" featuring Bishop George Bloomer, the prerequisite song about motherhood "Every Day Is Like Mother's Day" and the seven-minute closer "Come To The Altar". For me though, I'm still bouncing off the ceiling as a result of that opening master blaster.
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