Like her first two efforts for Rounder, True Believer is a stellar collection of contemporary soul performed in the classic '50s New Orleans tradition. The difference is in conception. True Believer focuses on heartbreak songs, and there is genuine anguish in Irma Thomas' voice, making new songs by the likes of Dan Penn, Dr. John, Tony Joe White, Allen Toussaint, and Doc Pomus sound like instant classics. Another excellent effort from a woman who has plenty to her credit.
Irma Thomas (born February 18, 1941, Ponchatoula, Louisiana, United States) is an American singer from New Orleans. She is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans". Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but never experienced their level of commercial success. In 2007, she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After the Rain, her first Grammy in a career spanning over 50 years.
Irma Thomas (born February 18, 1941, Ponchatoula, Louisiana) is a Grammy Award-winning soul and rhythm and blues singer from New Orleans. She is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans". Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but never experienced their level of commercial success; still, she has a large cult following among soul aficionados. In 2007, she won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After the Rain, her first Grammy in an acclaimed career spanning over 45 years.
Few ensembles are as difficult to write about as the incomparable Tallis Scholars. Inevitably, you just string together an array of superlatives and hope that other reviewers haven't gushed about the same attributes using the same words in precisely the same order. The ensemble's recording of the Christmas Mass and the antiphon Ave Dei patris filia marks both its fourth recording of works by Renaissance master Thomas Tallis and one of Gimell's last albums to be made during an unhappy affiliation with Universal Classics. (The label has since reverted to independent status, distributed in the United States by Harmonia Mundi.) As has been the case with other Tallis Scholars projects, the singers have rediscovered missing manuscripts and have put together the first modern performance editions of both of these works. Their complete mastery of their chosen subject, combining keen scholarship and transcendent beauty, makes this a radiant recording. The clarity and luminescent tone that conductor Peter Phillips achieves with his singers are simply superb. The recording, made at their frequent locale of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Norfolk, is a faithful one–but don't miss any opportunity to hear them live.