|The Kingdom Choir - Smile, It's A Brand New Day|
OUR PRODUCT CODE:
Christian Aid P396
Reviewed by George Luke
Under the leadership of Karen Gibson, the Kingdom Choir have been part of the British gospel scene for over 10 years, during which they've sung for Nelson Mandela and with Elton John and Luther Vandross. This, their debut album, was produced in association with Christian Aid. According to Karen, working with Christian Aid has been an eye-opener for the choir, causing them to stretch their lyric writing to include socially aware material as well as their usual worship fare. Judging by this, I'd say it's also stretched their musical influences - unless rock, salsa and Corrs-style Celtic pop have always been part of their repertoire. Producers Velroy Bailey and Andrew Smith have come up with a really mixed bag, full of pleasant surprises. Standout moments (of which there are many) include a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need Of Love Today" and two versions of the Anglo-Spanish "Brand New Day" - the second of which is a Bobby McFerrin-esque acapella version, on which percussionist Karlos Edwards really shines. Another favourite of mine is "Infinitely Perfect" (is it grunge or emo? I dunno, but it's moody, it's got heavy guitars and it rocks!). Overall, I enjoyed this album immensely, although "Lord I Love You" did trigger the English teacher in me (I know it sounds nice in cheesy love songs, but "on bended knee" is ancient grammar! PEOPLE DON'T SAY IT ANYMORE! Okay; I'm calming down now.). And how many times do you hear bagpipes on a black gospel album?
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|They've sung before the Queen and Nelson Mandela. They've appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Dome. They've performed with international artists such as Elton John, Luther Vandross, Michael Ball and gospel greats Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Helen Baylor, Alvin Slaughter and Jessy Dixon. NOW the Kingdom Choir release their first album, Smile, it's a Brand New Day. |
Sponsored by Christian Aid, this refreshing album focuses on 'Kingdom Praise' with hope and justice for the poor - a fitting theme which compliments the work of Christian Aid in reducing poverty in more than 50 countries around the world.
The album includes both traditional gospel choruses, songs of praise and rock songs, all of which reflect the choir's blend of discipline and raw spiritual sound, drawn from an inner experience of God.
The Kingdom Choir is a collective of outstanding singers drawn from various church denominations. Directed by Karen Gibson, most of the members work full time and perform evenings and weekends.