Friday, March 22, 2013

I want to join a choir, and here's why

Apart from Satan, who doesn't love a gospel choir? All that boundless, joyous energy. They’re like pronking Springboks, except singing hymns and stuff.

Actually, I don't have that much exposure to gospel choirs in the traditional church setting (the Irish church doesn't really trade in unfettered joy). But I know a lot of pop songs with gospel bits: Like A Prayer, Man In The Mirror, Tender, You Can't Always Get What You Want... er, I Want To Know What Love Is. The Killers have one that goes "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier". No-one knows what it's called, because it's named after the boring bit before the choir start singing [It's All These Things I've Done - accuracy Ed].

Wouldn't it be great to be in a gospel choir? You get to wear a big shapeless dress, clap your hands and meet amazing pop stars. Best job in the world.

Sadly, unless you're Leona Lewis, gospel choirs had fallen out of favour over the last couple of years. Which is ok, because they probably had real jobs to do. But we're due an old-time spiritual revival and, by some small miracle, two new songs have just cropped up *sha-zam* with a Hallelujah chorus.

First out of the gates are Primal Scream. Their comeback single It's Alright, It's OK resurrects the feel-good gospel phrasings of Movin' On Up to great effect.

Next, we have the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who, counter-intuitively, get their choral minions to sing "sacrilege" over and over. Still, it'll stir your soul harder than a cement mixer.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sacrilege

NB: While we're talking gospel, you really should check out this fabulous cover of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth, recorded in 1974 by The Voices Of East Harlem Choir (that's them pictured at the top of the post). It features the bounciest bassline since Bootsy Collins played a rubber guitar on a trampoline during an earth tremor on Mr Blobby Day. Amazing stuff.

The Voices Of East Harlem - For What It's Worth

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