Various Artists

Praise the Lord: Gospel Music in Washington D.C.

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These 15 tracks were recorded in 1998 by the Anacostia Museum and Center for African-American History and Culture for an exhibition on contemporary African-American life. It was assembled with an eye toward illustrating diverse forms of gospel, including solo, duet, quartet, and choir performances (though not trio ones), including a couple by the Nannie Helen Burroughs School Choir. The arrangements, too, vary from sparse and traditional, emphasizing piano, to ones which reflect the influence of contemporary soul. The less elaborate tracks sound better; it's pretty unlikely this disc is angling for adult contemporary radio airplay, but that's the effect produced when intrusive synthesizers come into the action.

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