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I'm Amazed … Live

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Sep
I'm Amazed … Live
Sounds like … a 300-voice choir that mixes pop-gospel arrangements with contemporary, traditional, and Latin sounds.At a glance … the Brooklyn Tab once again gets a little bogged down in drippy inspirational ballads, but they still shine on many other tracks with one of their most musically diverse albums to date. Track Listing Thou, Oh Lord Gloria I'm Amazed Heaven on My Mind Hallelujah Anyhow I Bless Your Name King of Glory God's Promise High & Lifted Up The Light of That City Song of Moses

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir remains one of the most recognized and acclaimed in the world today, impressively comprised of approximately 300 ordinary singers—experienced, yes, but not necessarily trained. The choir has nonetheless earned Grammys and sold more than 4 million copies of 22 albums since its inception in the 1970s, when director Carol Cymbala and her husband started the church.

This massive choir's latest is I'm Amazed … Live, and it delivers exactly what people would expect, though it is one of their more musically diverse offerings. A rousing rendition of Joe Pace's "Hallelujah Anyhow" makes for truly terrific gospel, contrasting with the soaring pop melody and flowing rhythm of "The Light of That City." There are splashes of Latin amidst the pop-gospel arrangements in "Gloria" and the sprightly "High and Lifted Up." Luther Barnes of The Barnes Family solos on the impressively soulful "God's Promise," while Donnie McClurkin leads the majestically orchestrated "Song of Moses." And a "Worship Medley" combines two Brooklyn Tab standards with awesome results, including a stunning build into the climax.

But the CD bogs down in forgettable inspirational ballads that too closely resemble one another. "King of Glory" stands apart with its sweeping grandeur, and "Thou, O Lord" has a strong enough melody to make the familiar pop orchestration memorable. That still leaves three other worshipful ballads mired in mushy cliché—less is more with these. Otherwise, while the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir doesn't really offer anything that we haven't heard from them before, it's hard to fault an album that's still inspirational and still sounds great, with proceeds benefiting their church's outreach programs.

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