How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Forsaking a potentially successful career in Rhythm and Blues, Liz Mc Comb instead turned to singing Gospel and singing it with evangelical fervor. Part of the CD comes from a live performance in Paris and the rest in the Los Angeles studio. It's one of the cuts from the live performance which is a must hear. "Fire" is more than 11 minute apocalyptic forecast of what happens when the world is on fire. The tune starts out on a relatively even keel, but keeps building in intensity until the last few choruses are a Pentecostal frenzy. But this lurid forecast is balanced by songs of hope such as "Open Our Eyes" pleading to keep the faith when "The Joy of life is grey". The "Stand by Me" on the play list is not the Ben E. King song which caught the public ear several years ago as the sound track on the movie of the same name, but the traditional version.
Although Mc Comb accompanies herself on the piano, the dominant instrument on the CD is the organ of Harold T. Johnson, as well it should be for this genre of music. The drums of Quentin Dennard are there to emphasize with rim shots the evangelical point Mc Comb is making. And what would a gospel album be without the backup hand clapping chorus which, as in a Greek play, responds to the calls made by the main singer.
Rarely will one hear anything as intense as her performance in any musical genre. If this album and Mc Comb's singing doesn't have you leaping out your chair shouting "Hallelujah", then you are beyond redemption. Recommended. Lyrics are printed in the liner notes. Visit Mc Comb at her multi lingual Internet home at www.lizmccomb.com.
Track Listing: You Can't Hurry God; The Man Upstairs; Whenever You Pray; Give Him Up; Time Is Now; Don't Let the Devil Ride; What Happened to the Love; Fire; Open Our Eyes; Jesus Is a Rock; Stand By Me; Chant de Liberte (Song of Freedom); Fire
Personnel: Liz Mc Comb - Vocals/Piano; Harold T. Johnson - Organ/Electric Piano/Vocals; Quentin Dennard, Herve Koster, Sangoma Everett, Christophe Gailot - Drums; Leroy Ball - Acoustic Bass/Electric Bass/Vocals; Byron Moore, David Levray, Titus Williams - Bass; Tim Hearsey, Jam `Ba - Guitar; Vincent Bruley - Organ