Celebration of Gospel: Spirit in Song
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rob Fields (17th May 2008).
The Show

It isnít every day that I a DVD to review that involves religion. And I must admit that I certainly do not look forward to reviewing these types of DVD's. I guess itís the fact that the religious values here are not the same as mine. Still, I have to put that aside and review each and every title that comes my way with an open mind Ė and without bias. I guess another reason I donít really like reviewing them is that Iím afraid Iíll write the review and wonder how many people I may end up offending in the process. One thing is for sure, though. The world is going to continue to move on regardless of what I end up writing. So, without further delay, Iím going to go ahead and watch this concert and write my review. If I happen to offend anyone, then I apologize ahead of time. Please be assured that this is not my intention.

ďCelebration of Gospel: Spirit In SongĒ (54:09) Ė Synopsis: Be prepared to praise His name...Televisionís #1 Religious/Gospel telecast returns as BET presents the biggest stars in gospel and R & B for ďCelebration of Gospel: Spirit In SongĒ. This foot-stomping, hand-clapping revival is filled with rousing performances by Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, J Moss (not a typo), Pastor Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, the top five performers from ďSunday BestĒ and more. So join the celebration! And be a part of the joy, inspiration and power as this once-in-a-lifetime lineup of artists comes together for a gospel music gala guaranteed to send your spirit soaring.

I liked that the concert features some well-known artists such as LaBelle. Actually, she is really the only one that Iím familiar with. I also liked how well the concert was conducted. Additionally, the concert progresses from one artist to another. I guess you donít have to see one solo artist or a group get off the stage so that the next performer(s) can set up to perform. I Also found the concert to be not as boring as expected. Itís not a choir performance. With the names that are highlighting this concert, I donít think boring is going to be an issue here, not unless this isnít your particular genre of music. In other words, if youíre somebody who primarily likes rock then you may not be too much into the music presented on this release (see the synopsis). The lighting and the choreography (those numbers that have it) are excellent. It seems that those in attendance are having a good time during each and every performance.

The downsides? This concert is not for all religions or for those who are into spirituality (as opposed to religion). This concert is more for those who are into the beliefs and teachings of the Holy Bible. If you do not believe in these practices or are into spirituality, then this concert and it's message may not for you. Also, some of the lyrics are a little hard to understand. I wish they could have had subtitles/lyrics to follow along with. Far from this, the concert was very well organized, very well done.

My final word: If you are into the teachings of the Holy Bible and want to add this concert to your collection, then you may find this DVD to your liking. If you are not into the teachings of the Holy Bible, then you will probably want to skip it. Itís basically going to boil down to who you are and what your religious beliefs are. Thatís all Iím going to say on this matter.

Video

The film and the extras are presented in full screen format (1.33:1 ratio). Like two other BET series reviews that I have done recently, the picture for all presented is of excellent quality. Possibly everything was filmed in either digital or HD since there is no sign of film grain. On the other hand, there are no signs of any other noticeable defects. There is no chapter selection menu for the concert itself, but there are chapter stops.

Audio

The concert features an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. There are no optional subtitles available. The audio could easily pass for a 2.0 Dolby surround mix. You can hear the music and the singing without any difficulty. Again, I wish there would have been a subtitle track to better be able to understand the lyrics with. One does not overshadow the other. There really isnít much more that can be said.

Extras

Paramount has released this title with 2 featurettes that make up the only extras presented. Read further for an explanation into these extras.

The first of two featurettes ďAccess GospelĒ runs 11 minutes and 8 seconds. This takes you behind the scenes with interviews and comments from some of the artists that are going to be performing on this title. In other words, this takes place before the actual concert. J Moss will be the one taking you backstage and giving you a tour as well as conducting the interviews along the way.

The other featurette, ďWise Words with Pastor Shirley CaesarĒ runs 3 minutes and 58 seconds. Here, you will see the Pastor comment about this BET event. It seems that like the first featurette, this takes place before the actual concert itself. There is some footage from the concert interwoven into the interview footage. Questions come up on the screen and then Caesar answers them.

Overall

The Show: B+ Video: A+ Audio: A+ Extras: B- Overall: A-

 


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