The Gospel Angels
Turn It Around (2012)
By Bob Marovich
The Gospel Angels of Washington, DC, have traveled the country and the world for more than three decades, serving up heaping helpings of church wisdom with a savory traditional gospel quartet flavor.
Some of the songs on the group’s current album, Turn It Around, are newly composed, but all have an old school vibe. The whole CD rolls along like a live performance without an audience. Opening with the hip-slapping “Let Me Lean on You,” the quartet blends bright tempo numbers with songs that stretch out for several minutes—just as the group does at gospel programs where they are the headliners.
On some of the more elastic songs, such as “If I Die” and “Good Time,” co-founder Preston Wiggins adds to the trad sound by preaching and shouting in his rough-hewn voice. The quartet imbues soft soul harmony on “He Gave His Life” but more often than not emulates the Violinaires’ trendsetting high harmony.
Other album highlights include the up-tempo congregational song “What Do You Think About Jesus” and the contemplative concluding track, “God Is Good.” “He Saw My Need” is not the Dottie Rambo chestnut “He Looked Beyond My Faults” but a newly composed song by Preston Wiggins based on the theme expressed on “Faults.”
Turn It Around is a well-produced album that exudes traditionalism while adding enough contemporary style to remain relevant for modern audiences.
In addition to Wiggins, the Gospel Angels are Rev. Isaac Boykins, Michael Ball, Charles Smith, Phillip Lynch, and Marshall “Tony” Brown.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Let Me Lean On You,” “What Do You Think About Jesus.”