Etta James

Greatest Gospel Hits, Vol. 2

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It hardly matters what Etta James sings, whether it be country, blues, soul, R&B, or even pop tunes; she puts a stamp on it. This super-budget second volume of her gospel "hits" -- she never really had one let alone two CDs' worth -- by the completely dodgy Curb label (they simply suck when it comes to reissues) is a solid collection not because it is compiled well, but because James could sing license plates and they'd still stir your soul. There are a number of traditional tunes -- and Curb could get all semiotic and call the tunes themselves hits, even if they weren't by James -- along with readings of Edwin Hawkins' "Oh Happy Day" and Hank Williams' "I Saw the Light," backed by a gospel choir.

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