Classic Day – Lord Only Knows


While the spirit of Jesus Christ might be one of the most recognizable entities in human history, the strength lies where his followers hold in specifically euphoric gospel where choirs seem to melt the words of the good book into the soul.

Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir is the culmination of Chicagoans in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s where one single record is powerful enough to raise the dead, turn sinners into saints, and give non-believers a holy moral ground to stand upon.

Like A Ship… (Without A Sail) is immediately one of those records that becomes the perfect closer to every movie, every show, and instills that hopefulness of main character energy through each track.

More focused on the title track, “Like A Ship” where the choir becomes ethereal and otherworldly as if the arc has opened and the final hour is approaching. Overwhelming in the redemption styles of man; Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir are the shepherds that shield the audience from certain immolation.

“Like A Ship” is joyous but built through this instrumentation where layering and stacking of vocals appear with eyes closed and hands raised to the sky. Tears fall as quarter and eighth notes on the percussion from Charles Pittman and Stanley Fox as vocals pour in from every direction.

Immaculately simple in writing, the power of the track here comes from the tonality behind the words. The choir describes, “Just like a ship, without a sail. But I’m not worried because I know, but I know we can take it. I know we can shake it.”

While the choir forms the backing, the duetting voice comes from Pastor T.L. Barrett who is more of the narrator that speaks thunderously but without many vocalizations stemming directly. Instead, the pair bounce off each other like a mirror match.

When gospel music is bad, it’s atrocious. However, the same goes for the opposite, and thankfully, Like A Ship… (Without A Sail) might be sonically the best gospel record to be pressed to wax. The album is like a burst of sunshine coming through Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir almost entirely effortlessly.

The third track of the eight-track LP formats itself as “It’s Me O Lord,” and again is instrumentally striking. The production of Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir becomes the main staple of intrigue as to why this record will live on through generations and has lived on. If the lyrics of Christ and God dissipated, the record would still be a masterpiece of direction and emotional prominence.

While much of the lyricism is repetitious and based entirely on chants, “It’s Me O Lord” does strike a nerve of capable acceptance. The choir comes together to say, “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me oh lord. Standing in the need of prayer. It’s me, it’s me, it’s me oh lord. Standing in the need of prayer.”

Spending much of the past month on repeat, the vinyl practically has drag marks through it being worn down. Like A Ship… (Without A Sail) is a sample dream, a melody for the ears, and a real touch of spiritual beauty. Even against the grain, Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir find beauty and hope in a world that never seemed darker.

Listen To Like A Ship… (Without A Sail) Here!!! –  BandCamp/Spotify/iTunes

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