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Artist: Various Artists
Label: Rocketown Records
Length: 10/39:23

Years ago, Scott Dente and Charlie Peacock worked together on two worship CDs called Coram Deo.  Since then, I have been waiting for another album of songs by various artists that came close to equaling the quality of the songs contained therein.  Sadly, Gloria, an album of Christmas-themed songs, is not that CD.

A mix of standards, recent compositions, and original songs, Gloria suffers from overproduction, seemingly present on most Charlie Peacock recordings. “Sing Gloria” (Peacock/Ginny Owens) and “Christmas Kind of Feeling” (Christine Dente) are the most egregious examples, two songs that are too slick, and almost too cute.  The latter is reminiscent of The Carpenters, and squanders Dente’s vocal ability.

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” features George Rowe and Ginny Owens.  “Follow That Star” is a Cindy Morgan tune that falls flat.  “Love Came Just in Time” is interesting, featuring the unlikely combination of Alathea and Taylor Sorensen.  “O Come All Ye Faithful” (Shaun Groves and Rowe) follows the original arrangement.

Amy Grant is in fine voice on “God Is With Us,” and Wayne Kirkpatrick’s take on “Welcome to Our World" rivals the original Chris Rice recording in quality.

It is difficult to pick a single from this disc ­ if asked, I would recommend the Grant song for radio.  Overall, Gloria swings for the fences, but hits a six bouncer to short.

Brian A. Smith
6 September 2004



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