Norwegian Gospel Voices
Let's Dance

Do you like have your assumptions blown out of the water? Is a take-you-down surprise something that you thoroughly enjoy?

CD Yes?

Then you will truly love what you hear from NGV —Norwegian Gospel Voices. From the land of icy fjords, pristine forests and the midnight sun comes some sizzling street-proof Gospel, with sky-high head-nod factor.

Under the direction of Ragnhild Hiis Aanestad, the thirty five or so voices of the choir excel in their enthusiastic blurring into a mass unit of praise, with excellent diction and a marvellous understanding of the vocal technique required to successfully deliver the urban choir sound.

Yes, Let’s Dance is thoroughly urban —an able and authentic blend of hip hop and rhythm and praise that leans on covers of some of the jammiest songs to hit the airwaves over the past few years. And NGV also introduces a couple of originals to boot.

Digging into groove-laden repertoire that shows extensive knowledge of the North American urban Gospel scene, the choir ably covers jams such as Rodney Bryant’s”He’s A Keepa” and Donald Lawrence’s recent “Never Seen The Righteous”.

Norway Gospel VoicesAlso in the mix are nuggets written by Tonex (“Bustin’ Loose”) and Restine Jackson (“Get On Up”). Here the familiar voice of Krystle Murden can be heard adding guest ad libs, and NY rapper Omar Rolle (“Big O”) steps in for the flows. Rolle also adds his stuff to “I’ll Be Good”, made popular by The Gospel Gangstaz on their 1999 B-Rite release.

Norwegian metal guitarists Ronni le Tekroe imparts his sizzle to the album, and Norway’s own champion-winning spin maestro DJ Goldfinger puts his golden production touches to the project, imparting that heavily-produced feel so crucial in urban circles.

A trio of choir members put pen to two originals included on the album. Eyvind Andreas, Ketil Schei and Gisle Skeie write both “Keep On Believing” and “Joyful Noise”, putting to rest any doubts about in-house creativity. Per Gunnar Berg, David Wilhemsen,
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Grab your passport, fasten your seatbelt and stay with us as we unfold this, our continuing series entitled Gospel Around The World.
Liv Grethe Skiftun
and Ann-Heidi Mathisen step out from choir ranks to share leads on the former, while Bjorn Arild Anestad impresses out front over the clangy percussion and acoustic guitar that surrounds the latter encouraging cut.

And we haven't even mentioned the vibrant cover of the Andrae Crouch classic "I've Got The Best", the curious inclusion of "Le Freak" (perhaps the only wrong step on the project), and the juicy J. Moss title track remake along with it's very bumpy remix that comes courtesy Mojo.

It bears repeating —this is not some wannabe choir trying to do their urban thang. No, NGV is legit, they're real and these Norwegians are a must-hear.

Proving once again that good Gospel is not bound by georgraphy, NGV will not only startle you with their style of praise, they may just cause you to file their CD with the likes of some of your favorite urban contemporary choirs.

Producers: Various
album release date: February, 2003

— review by Stan North

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