Tola And Friends - Tola And Friends

Published Friday 10th March 2006
Tola And Friends - Tola And Friends
Tola And Friends - Tola And Friends

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15905-10967
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £10.00

Reviewed by Matt Crossman

The spiel on this independent release featuring the talents of the London-based Aria Gospel Choir (available for weddings, so says their website) promises gospel music with a new sound - apparently a new sound is super slick pop R'n'B. Time was when Ray Charles took the rhythms from the church into pop and was derided, while Tola and friends seem to be doing just the reverse. Production is of a surprisingly good quality for an indie release, if a little over reliant on the electric instruments. Nothing good has ever come of a track using synth horns, especially not in gospel, and sometimes the ambitious harmonies, fall just a shade of a whisper of a breath short of on-key. But the vocal talents of Tola and her friends are undeniable. Tola delivers emotion and feeling by the bucket. I believe what she says, a feather both in her cap and the producer's. The adventure into relevant styles is complete with Jamaican dancehall/west coast flavours in the later tracks, but I wonder why in the middle of such attention to detail in production and arrangement, the lyrics are so clich├ęd and unchallenging. If you like your praise gospel but your beats urban, then this is the thing for you.

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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