Vanessa Bell Armstrong - The Secret Is Out

Friday 1st December 1995
Vanessa Bell Armstrong - The Secret Is Out

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Verity 5611

Reviewed by Andy Charalambous

To be truthful, I half expected this album to be something to rave about considering that it comes from the same stable as John P Kee as well as originating from one of the most forward thinking of independent companies boasting such names as R Kelly, Aliyah and Billy Ocean of all people. Alas, I was slightly disappointed here as Vanessa Bell Armstrong's latest offering seemed to lack any variation and to be honest - it almost bored me stiff as there was nothing here to set my soul on fire even though she does possess one of the finest voices in black gospel. Why was I bored? Well, every track had the same keyboard sounds that were popular back in the 70s, the same syrupy intros where really a lot more should have been done on the production to bring out the best of each song. It got me wondering whether or not these people have ever heard of a guitar, or even a trumpet. No, I have to be perfectly honest here and say that the whole project needed some vitality and imagination in the different departments to really make this a product to shout the word 'gospel' which is a shame. Even the duet with John Kee sounded a bit tame. The only track that made me want to listen a little longer, was an interesting remix of "Love Lifted Me" and perhaps the title track "The Secret Is Out" which was full of the usual feeling that Vanessa has long been known for.

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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