Mighty Clouds of Joy - Movin' (2007)

Mighty Clouds of Joy
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Gospel music has always been enjoyed separately in my regular habits.  It is a spiritual experience reserved for Sunday afternoons and ecumenical events.  Deviating from the barriers for this review, I was surprised how easily the Mighty Clouds of Joy were Movin' right into my daily diet of music.  

The live revival feel of the CD is no coincidence.  It was recorded at Friendship West MB Church in Dallas Texas.  With "Jesus Will Turn It Around," you will experience such foot-stomping joyousness that your own holy ghost may emerge, though it is likely that even the non-believer will be tapping to the beat just as thankfully.  The ecumenical essence of these gospel musicians continues as their musical ministry continues to thrive.

Gospel music has always been enjoyed separately in my regular habits.  It is a spiritual experience reserved for Sunday afternoons and ecumenical events.  Deviating from the barriers for this review, I was surprised how easily the Mighty Clouds of Joy were Movin' right into my daily diet of music.  

The live revival feel of the CD is no coincidence.  It was recorded at Friendship West MB Church in Dallas Texas.  With "Jesus Will Turn It Around," you will experience such foot-stomping joyousness that your own holy ghost may emerge, though it is likely that even the non-believer will be tapping to the beat just as thankfully.  The ecumenical essence of these gospel musicians continues as their musical ministry continues to thrive.

The spirit of this ensemble comes through with each recording.  In "Rain on Me" traditional organ and MCJ harmonies make you feel as if you are bathed in radiance. And the group continues to shine, always certain of their musical mission.  Their audacity of faith raised "Mighty High," an R&B-dipped down-home anthem, into a #2 hit on the 1975 dance charts. More than 30 years later, their faithfulness has yet to descend.  The return of the beat in "B.Y.O.P (Bring your own Praise)" provides a double dose of musical satisfaction with Earth Wind and Fire-like horns atop of flawless vocal blends.  "Amazing Love" extends the groove - at first seeming more appropriate at a Summerfest than a sermon. The intro is sweet bait and the switch satisfying, particularly after you hear the lyrics provided by Antonio Neal and Kyle Lovett. 

"Already Done" is reminiscent of every fourth Sunday, when the choir sings with such conviction it is a sermon unto itself.  Here their liturgical license is rendered so well as to make the preaching taste almost sweet. It is hard fighting the urge to rock as you listen.  While MCJ are front and center, the CD is a vast collaboration that seems to pay off for all involved.  The reassuring "Fire" fans more warmth than heat but will dispel any secular rubbish that may burden you.  "That's What I'll Be Needing God For" is an equally righteous assemblage bringing the holiness of the CD to a head.  If listeners do not want theirs turned, it is too late once you hear "At the Foot of The Cross."  This mellow epilogue is a powerful reminder of God's love and the folksy guitar accompaniment is as unlikely and effective as David's sling. 

The sanctified vocals of MCJ: Joe Ligon, Richard Wallace, Ron Staples, Mike Cooke, and Erwin Williams, left a holy ringing in this listener's heart. They have not lost a beat, nor note.  Such longevity is often reserved for a church choir, and MCJ is, but their congregation has included a world.  There is an anointing in their service and we are witness to their glory, now 37 albums strong. If you enjoy the hopeful and warm feelings that follow you after a good church service, Movin' by the Mighty Clouds of Joy should be an offering in your collection.

By Arnold Stovell

 
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Choice Cut - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"

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