Oh Happy Day
It’s always a shame when non-theistic people or folks of different religious persuasions let faith get in the way of enjoying gospel music. Aside from its undeniable role in the development of American pop music, its intent’s assumed purity makes for some unfettered listening, not to mention the excitingly complex vocal performances. Well, now they want you to pay good money to hear choirs sing behind Jon Bon Jovi, 3 Doors Down, Mavis Staples, Queen Latifah, and more.
Here we go, getting all pious with our gospel review, but despite protests from Oh Happy Day’s compilers, this is little more than a vanity project for all involved. “Higher Ground” has already been shivved by Red Hot Chili Peppers, but here Robert Randolph and The Clark Sisters hammily bore it to death. Bon Jovi, like some mega-church browbeater, has The Washington Youth Choir belt its guts out to his own “Keep The Faith.” The Reverend Al Green and Heather Headley take the hands-embraced soulfulness of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” and go “American Idol” on it. Queen Latifah — we won’t even.
Outside of Mavis Staples, some of the best performances come from the least-likely sources: 3 Doors Down and Soul Children Of Chicago gift a remarkably relaxed “Presence Of The Lord,” and Michael McDonald, who was probably born for this, actually sounds part of the West Angeles COGIC Choir on “Storm Before The Calm.” Otherwise, skip this teaser compilation.
– Steve Forstneger
About the Author: