Thursday, 5 February 2009

Darlene McCoy - Darlene McCoy - EMI Gospel

Darlene McCoy is an acclaimed US gospel singer – recommendation enough – but what drew me to this 12 tracker was the involvement of Tommy Sims. I steadfastly maintain that Sims’ ‘Peace And Love’ album is one of the best modern soul sets of recent years and since his incursions are few and far between anything that bears his imprimatur must be checked out. Here the master is allowed to produce two tracks – ‘Amazing’ and ‘U-N-I-T-Y’. and both live up to expectations. . The former is a tight little sophisticated dancer on which Tommy ensures that Darlene’s crystal clear vocals keep the attraction-centre; the latter is the album’s closer and it’s the LP’s most complex tune – danceable yes… but with real hidden depths. It has retro feel – but it sure moves our music upwards – lovely! Other goodie include 'Fallen In Love', which appeared in the movie 'Diary Of A Mad Black Woman' and the Alicia Myers cover ‘I Wanna Thank You’'. As a Burt Bacharach fan I also loved the PJ Morton-produced ‘Simply Because’… big feel of the great man here – those special proto-Latin touches and brass flourishes make it really special. Ballad wise – check out ‘ If There Were No You’ while the most up cut is the opener ‘I Believe’. A really good LP – this – and because it’s so sweet, soulful and accessible , it’s great way to get non-believers into thinking (at least) about believing.

Bill Buckley

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