A battle of the Genres
Tracy Norris | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/02/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you ever wanted to compare Sam Cooke's gospel and pop music,you can with this cd. It offers a great sample of the gospel, butthe cd is not balanced on the pop side.Yet, there can be no discounting the secular part, because there are some good tracks, such as I'll Come Running Back to you. This is Cooke's signature "CONFESSIONAL" pieces, where he comes across as intimate, leaving the listener feeling as though they have eavesdropped on a private exchange of words.Lovable, his first introduction to pop, is better on this cd, because it cuts out the background singers, and leaves little room for much music, except for Sam's voice.Of course, there is the hidden track, which is left untitled, where Sam just improvises. This was a welcomed surprise, because it isn't labled on the jacket. Another intimate portrait of an artist at his craft.Overall, I gave this album a 3, because it is not as strong on the pop side as it is on the gospel. The price is a bit much, for tracks that you can get on a more substantial recording. I suppose the compilers wanted to get the early pop voice of Sam, because most of the songs are early. This would be uneven, because the gospel side varies from his very first spiritual to his near last. Perhaps, if they had tried to do the same for the pop side, it would be consistent and perhaps even. With that said, I love this cd! It gave me a great introduction to Cooke's gospel, beyond The Hem of His Garment."