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Calling On You

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Album Review

No matter the title of the song, gospel music always seems to be saying the same thing, and it is always joyous, whether the choir is offering a mass "Prayer" (the opening track) or realizing that "You Can't Hurry God." The true unrestrained spirit of a huge gospel choir is best communicated on that latter song, which features the intense lead vocals of Robert Blair, who goes solo on the verses and is joined resoundingly by the choir as the Hammond B-3 stirs up a fire down below. Crowd sounds complete the picture. And there's no resisting the simple, bouncy clapalong "If God Said It." Almost as interesting is "I'm Blessed," which features lead singer Fred Dubose sermonizing and commenting à la Kirk Franklin. On the other hand, "Calling on You" comes across almost like a David Foster studio ballad, a pretty enough song but a little generic compared to all the unrestrained emotion on the rest of this disc. The label owner's liner notes talk about God's favor being upon this group, and that would extend to the listener who can't help but be blessed by all the joy.


Formed: 1988 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Chicago Mass Choir was founded in 1988 by James C. Chambers, who organized the famed Ecclesiastes Community Choir 17 years earlier. The first Chicago Mass Choir album, Right Now If You Believe, followed in 1991, with the group winning Best New Artist honors at the Gospel Music Excellence awards; in 1992, "I Can Go to the Rock" -- from their second LP Call Him Up -- was named Song of the Year. The choir had one of its busiest years in 1994, when the group released a pair of albums, I'm So Grafeful...
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Calling On You, Chicago Mass Choir
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