The Blind Boys of Alabama hooked up with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff for the 1982 album I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord, originally released on the Philadelphia International Records gospel subsidiary Peace International. Twenty-two years later, during a period of high visibility for the group, The Right Stuff/Philadelphia International re-released the album on CD with six previously unreleased bonus tracks. The collection sounds very much like a Philadelphia International release of the '70s or '80s, as the Blind Boys are placed in R&B arrangements that recall such PI acts as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes Featuring Teddy Pendergrass. That effect is particularly notable in "(I'm A) Soldier (In the Army of the Lord)" (co-written by Gamble and Cecil Womack) and the Gamble/Huff composition "Jesus, He's Got What I Need," both of which appeared on the original album. "God Is Movin'," another song from the LP, and the previously unreleased "Somebody's Gone" bear the influence of Earth, Wind & Fire with their lively horn charts. Elsewhere, especially on other newly released tracks such as "Shine Your Light," the Blind Boys employ more traditional arrangements, some contributed by group member Clarence Fountain. But for the most part, the album represents a successful attempt to update the Blind Boys' sound for the '80s.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann