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As on their now-celebrated debut album, Voices From Heaven, this miraculous ensemble from Johannesburg's notorious/iconic Soweto township moves between Anglican-inspired and gospel-tinged hymns plus assorted home-wrought styles. The selections, performed in four languages including English, are either presented in a cappella arrangements, backed by a guitar band with percussion or wreathed in clapping, stomping and whistles. Soloists Sipokazi Luzipo and Vincent Jiyane are especial stand-outs; the latter's performance on "Weeping" could wring tears from a stone. Other unforgettable moments include "Noyana" and "Thapelo" but it is the more well-known tunes that fully reveal the ensemble's power to transform. "Oh Happy Day," "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot," "Khumbaya" and Solomon Linda's deathless "Mbube (aka "Wimoweh" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight") are resuscitated and refreshed, as is "Nkosi Sikele'iAfrika," South Africa's soaring national anthem. The atmosphere, while moving, is in no way sad or depressing. In fact, other than the awe-inspiring beauty of the singing, which seems to build a rainbow bridge between this world and the next, the overwhelming impression is of upbeat courage, dignity, grace and hope. --Christina Roden
About the Artist
The Soweto Gospel Choir is an all-star aggregation in the vein of Grammy-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo of top singers from South Africa's famous township--Soweto. They've achieved breakthrough success in Europe (two sold-out shows at London's Royal Festival Hall!), Africa, and Australia as their exhilarating voices create a blend of extraordinary beauty that thrills audiences everywhere.
World, including Australia, and received numerous accolades and awards. The choir performs in the traditions of South African Gospel and members of the choir hail from many different backgrounds; hence the choir sings in a number of languages ranging from English to Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho among others. Blessed was recorded in celebration of South Africa's 10th Anniversary of Democracy. The music is uplifting and conveys a powerful spiritual message. The repertoire ranges from traditional gospel, through inspirational songs written by the choir, international favorites with unique arrangements, and modern gospel with a township and soul feel. 21 total tracks. ABC Music. 2005.
Buy Blessed by Soweto Gospel Choir from our Christian Music store - isbn: 0159507189 upc: 016351663825
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