Ras Michael

Glory to God

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African-American gospel has been a tremendous influence on R&B and soul, and reggae certainly hasn't escaped its influence either. One of the best examples is Ras Michael's Kibir-Am-Lak (aka Glory to God). Essentially, this is an album of hymns -- anyone who has had any exposure to African-American gospels and spirituals cannot help but notice the parallels between the music of Black AME and Baptist churches, and soulful Michael offerings like "Over the Mountain," "Zion Land," and "New Name." But while AndraƩ Crouch, Sister Clara Ward, and other gospel greats have used their music to promote orthodox Christianity, Michael's hymns are very much Rastafarian hymns. From start to finish, this fine album sticks to a Rastafarian theme. Reissued on CD by the French Crocodisc label in 1994, Kibir-Am-Lak is well worth searching for.

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