Randy Travis

Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship & Praise

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If 2004's Passing Through was comprised primarily of inspirational songs with a modern bent, Randy Travis's 2005 follow-up Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship and Praise acts as its flip-side, being devoted largely to traditional spiritual songs. More than that, the songs on Glory Train are by and large classic Black gospel tunes, which is something that Travis hasn't explored before, and his mild stretching here results in a splendid album. Not only does he tackle standards like "Sing Down Chariot" and "Oh Death" along with several Sister Rosetta Tharpe tunes, including "This Train" and "Down by the Riverside," he brings in the Blind Boys of Alabama for harmonies on several songs. Although there are a few detours into tasteful, calm contemporary inspirational material, such as "Shout to the Lord," this grounding in classic gospel gives this album both gravity and soul, and when Travis marries this sound to his light, clean, impeccable neo-traditional country, the results are enormously appealing. This is a warm, relaxed, friendly, soulful album that's arguably Travis's best gospel album to date.

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