STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15905-10967 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 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 clichéd and unchallenging. If you like your praise gospel but your beats urban, then this is the thing for you.
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