Picks and Pans Review: Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices

updated 03/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

One Voice

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"If you use your gifts to His glory, He will magnify them." So writes Gladys Knight in the liner notes of this glorious gospel album, on which she serves as both the featured vocalist and director of the Saints Unified Voices, a 100-plus-member choir. Knight, who previously released the inspirational CD Many Different Roads in 1999, got her vocal baptism singing in the church choir at age 4, and she's always brought a gospel fervor to such secular hits as "Midnight Train to Georgia." So it's truly uplifting to hear her raise her voice in praise on such songs as the old spiritual "Blessed Assurance," backed by a formidable choir. What really separates this from other discs of the genre, however, is its varied musicality, incorporating contemporary and traditional gospel, African, classical and even Polynesian folk styles.—C.A.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "Blessed Assurance"

GOSPEL

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