Jim Nabors

More Songs of Inspiration

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Perhaps a secular type who knows Nabors more for his comic television character than his serious singing is out of the loop, but one questions whether there is really enough of a demand for his material to merit a compilation of more songs of inspiration. He's not exactly a cult figure for either his acting or his singing, and he's too accomplished a singer to fall into the celebrity-novelty collector realm. Columbia/Legacy obviously thinks there is a market, though, assembling this 12-track compilation from various 1966-1973 releases. Not all of it's gospel/inspirational in nature, though some of it ("Take My Hand, Precious Lord," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee") certainly is. Other tunes are more inspiring in feel and message than they are actually religious in content, such as "Born Free," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)," and "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever." All of them are given the bombastic easy listening treatment, from the saccharine arrangements to Nabors' bullishly operatic voice, on which you can just see the neck muscles straining and the mouth muscles rounding. Inspirational music is supposed to be uplifting, but these interpretations are more depressing than ennobling, Nabors sounding like the strong-voiced guy in the choir or the parlor singalong who doesn't know when to shut up and call it an evening.

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