Newspaper: Guardian
Date: August 28, 2003
Page#: Page 6
News Editor: Gilman Figaro, Sr


Sparrow goes gospel

HALLELUJAH! The Mighty Sparrow, the supreme Calypso King of the World, has done it yet again. He has taken the beautiful and inspiring music of gospel calypso to new heights.
Sparrow's long awaited CD Redemption is a wonderful gift to music lovers of all ages. His rendition of the songs will certainly appeal to all listeners. Now the King of Calypso can rightfully claim a new musical kingdom – the world of gospelypso.
Today, MIKA Enterprises will launch Redemption, a volume from Sparrow’s critically acclaimed Millenium Series CD collection, at the Humming Bird Room of Hilton Trinidad. The function will be begin 6 pm and, with Sparrow home for this weekend’s Icon concert, the man himself will be in attendance.
With a voice that seems to have improved with age, Sparrow again uses his magnificent instrument to caress effortlessly the uplifting lyrics, and his musical mastery gives each track its own unique appeal.
The selection of songs covers a wide range of biblical events, testimonials and commentaries. The lyrics, however, go beyond what we usually hear in songs of this nature. The songs are skillfully crafted with meaningful lyrics. Regardless of one’s spiritual or religious inclination or lack thereof, these songs can not fail to inspire and uplift one’s spirits.
Whether he is speaking of “The Miracles of Christ” or asking “Do You Believe?” or reminding us of the profundity of “His Wisdom and Teachings,” each song is exhilarating.
Apart from the beauty of the lyrics, it is also the ease with which Sparrow delivers the soul-searching words that make them so appealing.
However, the rhythmic calypso beat, woven with the gospel sound, makes for an exquisitely delightful and soul inspiring experience. As one listens to “Rejoice In His Name” and the biblical stories “A Traitor Among Us” and “Nebukanezza” in true calypso and Soca style, one cannot help but smile at the skill of the lyricist.
The range of subjects that are addressed on Redemption include reference to the political struggle in the Middle East when Sparrow sings about “Isaac and Ishmael”:
In your quest for peace/No effort must be spared/Let love abide, vengeance is mine said the Lord, because the blood of Isaac and Ishmael, Sara and Hagar should not be ignored in sibling rivalry. If this is allowed it cane lead the beginning of World War III.
Testimonial-type songs include “He Save Me,” which shows Sparrow’s gratitude for the blessings he has received, and “I Used Too Be A Sinner.” He engages the listener, and it becomes almost a personal experience, which is good measure of true gospel.
This is CD that will move listeners with the lyrics, inspired by the Sparrow’s soulful rendition of the songs, while spilling that rich, rhythmic experience of the Caribbean fusion of gospel and calypso. This is an excellent production, with wonderful music and vocal clarity, which adds to the listening pleasure.