Vickie Winans

Live in Detroit, Vol. 2

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Questions surrounding the authenticity of its attendant crowd noise aside, LIVE IN DETROIT II is a positively electric follow-up to the gospel matriarch's popular--and equally butt-shaking--1997 set LIVE IN DETROIT. Winans is a gospel singer of the highest order, capable of gentle storytelling (as on the softly wrought "Oh What Love") or booming exultations of praise to the creator (the crowd-moving set opener, "I Hear the Music in the Air"). Adding to the energy is a booming backing choir, and a tight band that offers tasteful, unobtrusive accompaniment. The set's standout track is an acrobatic but appropriately reverential take on "Old Gospel Medley," in which the singer punctuates many of her lines with grunts of affirmation. While piano trickles in the background, organ shoots out cascades of melody, and an electric bass holds down a seismic undertow, Winans glides through the upper register with the grace of an eagle floating on high.

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