Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Gospel Songs

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AllMusic Review by

Gospel Songs is a religiously oriented CD that underscores Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Christian beliefs and deftly demonstrates the considerable talents of this all-male, ten-member a cappella group. A two-CD set, Gospel Songs contains 32 tracks; with the exception of one song, they are all sung in Zulu, the group's native South African language. In typical Ladysmith Black Mambazo form, all 32 songs are powerfully resonant and project an atmosphere full of hope and spirituality. Among the many noteworthy songs on the CD is the opening cut, "Inkanyezi Nezazi." It has a relaxed, lullaby feel and is full of richly textured polyphonic harmonies. Featured on a number of Heinz commercials, "Inkanyezi Nezazi" is, like most of the songs on the CD, built around a call-and-response structure that develops between a solo singer and the entire ensemble. In sum, Gospel Songs is a wholly accomplished work that complements the substantial body of work already created by director Joseph Shabalala and his Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

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