Bland faith

Such a disappointing night. My review [£] of the gospel choir showcase at the Proms:

If the hardcore members of the congregation seemed content, a neutral could only conclude that the all-conquering crossover genre known as contemporary gospel — built around bombastic Whitney Houston-esque melismas and unashamedly saccharine sentiment — is the deadest of dead ends. A cynic once described contemporary gospel as a mixture of “the temporary and the con”. While there was sincerity a-plenty here, very little of the material bore comparison with the era of Thomas Dorsey. The patron saint of the modern scene, Andraé Crouch — honoured in a typically overblown medley at the close — produced sleek, anonymous anthems with lyrics that had all the intensity of a supermarket greetings card.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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