Swelling, Call and Response, Gospel Choirs
November 1, 2009 4:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for music that features I can best describe as "swelling gospel choirs". The Autotune The News guys do a great pastiche of the style... the elements that jump out at me being the call and response and the introduction of melodic theme that's later repeated with far more voices in major key and occasionally jazz-inflected harmony (the refrain "Made in america!" towards the end is a perfect example). Some other exemplary tracks: Fired Up, All These Things That I Have Done, Souled Out, Get By. Is there some ur-gospel group that these artists are drawing from? I'm especially interested in acapella tracks, or those with minimal accompaniment, or those that sample acapella tracks.
posted by phrontist to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Go to Pandora.com and punch in a song or two that feature the music you're looking for, then sit back an listen.
posted by Doohickie at 5:37 PM on November 1, 2009

Thanks doohickie, but I only resort to AskMeFi when Pandora/Last.fm/Music Blogs have failed me.
posted by phrontist at 5:38 PM on November 1, 2009

Check out 'Sno Angel Like You' by Howe Gelb, it's awesome.
posted by christy at 6:46 PM on November 1, 2009

It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but check out Jonny Lang's "I Believe" (this video is a promo for "Oh Happy Day").
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:16 PM on November 1, 2009

Check out Spiritualized. Here's the first track I thought of:

Won't Get to Heaven

Incidentally, the video this links to is part of an overdub project someone did where they sync Spiritualized to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I just found it, I haven't watched it and I can't vouch for its awesomeness or lack thereof, but I would be willing to wager that in the right, er, state of mind, some folks might get really, REALLY into it.

Anyway, the Spiritualized album this song comes from, Let it Come Down, has a lot of gospel choir going on, so if you like this one, check out the album if you don't already know it.
posted by nosila at 7:27 PM on November 1, 2009

Oh, sorry, I'm an idiot and apparently forgot to read the last part of the question. It is still possible you might dig Spiritualized, but they definitely don't meet your qualifications.
posted by nosila at 7:31 PM on November 1, 2009

The last couple minutes of Blur's Tender, perhaps?

As for the ur-gospel part of your question, for this track, Blur used the The London Community Gospel Choir, so I'm guessing other bands will look to the nearest gospel choir for their call and response needs.
posted by cobwebberies at 10:11 AM on November 2, 2009

Whoops. I doubt the London Community Gospel Choir would demand the extra 'the' in there!
posted by cobwebberies at 10:17 AM on November 2, 2009

There's a two-CD set of tracks from (I think) a PBS series, called "Soul + Inspiration." There are tons of full-choir tracks down to small groups, but I bet you can find something there that fits the bill -- and possibly enlightenment in the liner notes.

(Also a must-hear is the track "Shadrack" by The Golden Gate Quartet.)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2009

Thought I'd pop in to answer my own question... I've since discovered Patty Loveless and The Soweto Gospel Choir.
posted by phrontist at 1:13 PM on November 29, 2009

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