Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
As a recent convert to CCM (entirely through my reading Cross Rhythms over the past two years), I've noticed how much of a big happy family the various US labels seem to be. Guest appearances abound as backing singers and instrumentalists all pitch in to give the little bit extra to that latest album. Sparrow have now gone a step further with a joint project by producer Wayne Kirkpatrick and three of arguably the best female voices in US CCM, Mesdemoiselles Ashton, Becker and Dente. Playing the CD, my first impression was amazement, that Wayne and these three pop gospel divas could have turned out an album that is so diverse in style - the overwhelming feel is country, with acoustic guitars, a real drum kit played by a real person, and hardly a synthesiser to be heard. In fact, on the title track, Brother Wayne has roped in a string quartet, and very effectively too. The only pop style songs are the haunting "Angels" and "Near To You", which Susan wrote with Gary Chapman and which features a Hammond organ in with the usual implements. I could rave about nearly every track; "Walk On" is a bluesy message song given the gritty delivery it deserves by Susan, and on "Oh Me Of Little Faith" Margaret sounds a little like Peggy Lee on a jazzy/rocky/bluesy stomper. Scott Dente even shows up to support his other half on "Takin' My Time" which Christine wrote with Charlie Peacock. But my favourite tracks are "Breathe On Me", a gentle folksy ballad perfectly sung by Christine, and "Blessing In Disguise", a lolloping country foot-tapper which Margaret and the band give the full country treatment, with cowboy guitar and all. Each of the girls gets four lead vocals, everybody sings BVs for everybody else and the CD is excellent value with over 51 minutes of very classy music indeed. Definitely highly recommended.
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