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    Ashley Cleveland - God Don't Never Change

Ashley Cleveland - God Don't Never Change
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Source: C.W. Ross   |  Viewed: 1658
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Artist: Ashley Cleveland
Album Name: God Don't Never Change
Label:  Koch, 204 Records
Comments:  Ashley Cleveland has a lot of musical miles under her belt but with each new release she brings something new to the table. God Don't Never Change, her 8th full length project was born from an NPR Fresh Air interview that she done with Bob Darden, a journalism professor from Baylor University that has a passion for obscure recordings of Black Gospel music. Having grown up in the south this appealed to her so Cleveland decided to do this album as a celebration of vintage Black Gospel songs.
When asked about it Cleveland said, "I've always been interested in other people's songs," she continued, "These songs and old hymns, both types of music; speak to such a specific place in my soul. They're so much a part of my life, having grown up in the South, and that music is part of my heritage as much as the hymns are."
The main theme that's carried throughout the songs is the message that you better be right with God in your life.
Stylistically this release is far from a one note pony, the songs vary in style from melodic and reverent to upbeat toe tappers. On God Don't Never Change you'll find elements of, Gospel, The Blues, rock, and soul. Not too many people would have the chops to pull off such a wide range of styles but Ashley Cleveland has no problem with her stellar vocals that meld into each song like butter on a hot stack of pancakes.
The instrumentation is tight and the keys and organ parts bring several of the songs alive, providing an almost rousing church service feel to them. The last of the 12-tracks, "The Last Word," is the releases only instrumental track, and is a good example of that upbeat church service feel with its fast paced keyboard and organ sounds.
Ashley Cleveland musically is like a chameleon never wanting to settle into just one style. Although she has previously released the all hymns album Men & Angels Say in 2005, this is her first foray into gospel music.
God Don't Never Change acts as a nice musical primer to hear where some of modern day gospel music was birthed.
Style: Gospel, Blues
1. My God Called Me This Morning
2. You Gotta Move
3. When This World Comes To An End
4. Going To Heaven To Meet The King
5. Rock In A Weary Land
6. Sampson And Delilah
7. Denomination Blues
8. Joy Joy
9. God Don't Ever Change
10. Live The Life
11. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning
12. The Last Word
Favorite Songs:  My God Called Me This Morning, Going to Heaven, Denomination Blues
Overall:  8 out of 10

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