Various Artists

Gospel Classics, Vol. 1 [2004]

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Who was it who decided to begin including nationalistic melodies like "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" in the gospel category? Probably the Gideons, possibly acting in collusion with the Republican Party. In any case, this CD has nothing whatsoever to do with real gospel, a rich cultural heritage of spiritual depth and soulful integrity, spanning many generations and interwoven with folk, country, blues, and jazz traditions. The instrumentation used here is largely synthetic and the singer is a sleazy knuckleheaded fake, shallow beyond belief. There are other, infinitely better recordings bearing the same title -- this one is a bloodless travesty with absolutely no redeeming social value.

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