Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sounds of Blackness - The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy (1992)


Sounds of Blackness is a 40-person choir and ten-piece band that combines traditional African music, urban soul, and gospel music. I was introduced to this group through their contribution to the soundtrack for the movie The Apostle. I liked their gospel sound on that disc, so when I came across this Christmas offering, I picked it up. The group got the hottest urban music producers of the time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to be "executive producers" on this album (whatever that means). That duo's influence is heard throughout. So, instead of sounding like the gospel album I had hoped for, it sounds more like an early '90s Janet Jackson album with lots of synth bass, dance beats, and hip-hop rapping. Maybe that was the sound of contemporary gospel music back then - I have to plead ignorance on that count. Nowadays, I'll listen to the online samples before purchasing a disc to avoid this sort of situation, but that wasn't available way back in the '90s. The disc isn't bad for what it is and I'm sure there's an audience for this uplifting music, but I was looking for more of a traditional gospel sound.

Tracks: I don't listen to this disc very often, but when I do, I'll listen to Soul Holidays and Away In A Manger. I want to like the group's high energy take on Children Go, but the wonderful vocal harmonies are pushed so far back in the mix, all I can hear is the derivative accompaniment tracks. O Holy Night is to be avoided.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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