The second of two well-packed discs released on the Austrian reissue label Document, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 covers the years of 1942 to 1944, a period during which Tharpe was raising the ire of her religious audience by branching out into a more secular era. Though in retrospect the sentiments of songs like "I Want a Tall Skinny Papa" seem tame, the outcry was similar to when Sam Cooke went pop in the late '50s: how dare the pop market take away our Sister? It stands to reason; Sister Rosetta Tharpe was gospel's most fiery voice and one of the finest guitarists in any style of her era. (The stabbing, rhythmic lead guitar underpinning these songs sounds like it was probably a huge influence on Chicago blues later that decade.) The passion and vitality of these performances is remarkable, as is the joy Tharpe clearly takes in the physicality of even her most pious recordings. Even for non-believers, this is rich, fulfilling music. The quality of these transfers on the rarer material can be a little rough, but not distractingly so.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason