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Whether your idea of gospel is the staid, button-down (read: uptight/white) variety, or the joyous, fully rocking gospel of black church choirs, be prepared to have your head rearranged by Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal. True to the title, Good God! offers 18 tracks of groove-heavy, funky and often truly off-the-wall gospel.

Originally released between 1968 and 1981, Good God!'s tracks may preach and testify to the glory of God, but the music is strictly of the devil. Or, more aptly, the music gives living proof to the lie that God and sex, spirituality and getting your freak on, are mutually exclusive.

Prepare thee, brothers and sisters, for the insanely catchy, dirty funk of "I Thank the Lord" by Mighty Voices of Wonder, the off-kilter percussion groundswell of "O Yes My Lord" by Voices of Conquest and the dry, proto trip-hop of "Is There Any Love" by Trevor Dandy (Tricky would be proud). And stand in wonder and praise for the James Brown-styled rave-up, deliciously titled "God Is All Over Me" (uh huh!) by the Shackleford Singers, and the sweetly soulful "Jesus Will Help Me" by Gospel Comforters. But you might need to sit down for "Thoughs Were the Days" by LaVice and Company, where one of Satan's minions raps about what a "swinging place" hell used to be back in the good old days.

That should bring them in on a Sunday morning.

More by Carl Hanni


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