Chicken Soup For the Gospel Soul
Gospel music has finally made into the string of albums in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.Producers: Various
album release date: January, 2002
The best-selling book series from populist authors and motivationalists Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen has spawned an entire line of associated projects over the years, including a CD series.
Chicken Soup for the Gospel Soul, from archive specialists Rhino Records, delivers an eclectic set of thirteen contemporary Gospel hits.
The set is unusual in that the digging goes deep, with some interesting choices from an assemblage of artists rarely associated together.
The project kicks off with BeBe Winans’ version of “Oh Happy Day”, with Debbie Winans and Hezekiah Walker’s Love Fellowship Crusade Choir supporting, before Deitrick Haddon and Voices of Unity step in with “Hold On 2 Your Faith”. This is the cut with Damita Haddon singing powerful lead, pulled from the Live Your Life project.
There’s also a couple songs from Karen Clark Sheard. She’s out front on the traditional live choir sounds of “Take It By Force” from Bishop Carlton Pearson’s Live at Azusa album, and follows that with severe contemporary with the PAJAM-insured “Gotta Right” from Finally Karen.
“Lean on Me” with Crystal Lewis is here the version with Kirk Franklin, where Lewis sings all the solo parts. This seldom-heard take is from Lewis' own Gold album. Also present is The Commodores' “Jesus Is Love” with Lionel Richie up front. Al Green stops by with “A Long Time”, the song co-written by Tim Miner that appeared on his Green’s Love is Reality album.
Strong traditional cuts come from Rev. Quincy Felding Jr. and the Quincy Felding Jr. Mass Choir with “I Got Mine”, from The GMWA Gospel Announcer’s Guild Radio Angels with new edit of “So You Would Know”, and the standby “Potter’s House” from the Tramaine Hawkins Live album.
By time Carman closes out the album with “Amen”, you’ve experienced one of the most interesting Gospel music surveys on the market.
reviewed by Stan North —
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