POSTED 20 JULY 2001
One of the musical Winans clan's most accessible and successful
performers, CeCe Winans has released a self-titled album that
combines the glossy sheen of a pop diva with the devout gospel of a
true believer. Silky smooth and delivered with style, it's an
irresistible piece of sparkling spirtuality.
All Wound Up
Following in the footsteps of MXPX and secular bands like Green
Day, All Wound Up serve up one gloriously messy song after another
on their debut, "Hero." With a punk aesthetic and a subtle but
noticable spirituality, they represent yet another twist on the CCM
formula, even while staying fun and accessible to fans of any faith.
With a genuinely alternative sense of dynamics, occasional nods to
electronica, and Adrienne Liesching's edgy vocal style, the Benjamin
Gate are one of CCM's less typical acts. Choruses are buried in
guitar-laden reverb, but they still jump off "Untitled" like a
welder's spark. There are godly messages throughout, underscoring
the musical antics with desperate spirituality and faith. It all
works like a charm, marking a stunning step forward for those
looking to expand the palette of contemporary Christian's usual
"Spirit of the Century"
Blind Boys of Alabama
"Live in London and More... [LIVE]"
"Leave Here a Stranger"
Laced with Britpop and played in an appealingly languid,
blurry-eyed style, Starflyer 59 further stretch the mold of what
contemporary Christian music can sound like with their latest
record, "Leave Here a Stranger." Lead flyer Jason Martin's songs are
impossibly catchy and utterly weightless, floating through melodies
while using a wide range of musical textures and dynamics. The
comments made throughout the record about love, life, and faith are
subtle, but they're still an important part of the whole, as Martin
lays down his slurry, lovely soundscapes. It's a creative, bold
piece of work.
"Living By the Book"
A customer from Canada recommends "Living by the Book" from Paul
Overstreet: "I loved this! It is hard to find a good Christian
country music recording. Paul Overstreet has an amazing gift for
songwriting. The lyrics to these songs really touched my heart and
the music is terrific.... I believe this is Mr. Overstreet's best
album to date."
With her blend of New Orleans jazz-influenced vocal ornamentation
and her massive pipes, Mahalia Jackson's form of gospel music was
stunning, profound, and absolutely inspirational. Three of her best
recordings, "Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting," "Recorded Live in
Europe," and "In Concert Easter Sunday 1967," have recently been
reissued. Check them out for a dose of energy and spiritual bliss.
* "Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting"
* "Recorded Live in Europe"
* "In Concert Easter Sunday 1967"
See all Mahalia Jackson releases
Gospel is deeply emotional music; it's the sound of the human voice
giving praise to God's glory, even when the singer has been "'buked
and scorned." In honor of the recent release of a trio of Mahalia
Jackson reissues, Amazon.com has selected 25 of the most intense,
lively, and soul-shakingly brilliant gospel recordings ever made.
See our Gospel Essentials