voice surges up from the depths of her soul, sounding like someone
with the force of a volcanic eruption. It’s all about : “ Give him
up ”, “ Let him go ”.
with such intense passion that the singer roars, rejecting everything
that her music casts aside - futility, compromise, despair, “ that
fake diamond that is only a little piece of glass ”.
in this album rings true, and pure, and harsh and beautiful. And
it’s too bad if Liz’s diamond-like voice can sometimes hurt those
ears too fragile to listen to an intense sincerity that can seem
Liz Mc Comb’s
beliefs are so deep that she sings as no one else can. Each syllable
is enunciated in such a manner that few artists can compare to her
bold grace. Not only is Liz a true diva, she is also an accomplished
pianist. Liz attacks the piano as if to apologize for the fragrant
sweetness of her voice. She is gifted and tough. Unlike those who
sing to please the audience, she sings to spread the message, to
fuel the fight against evil. She manages to do this without the
slightest effort at all, for her voice is sublime - so radiant and
so earnest that she transcends the tradition she was born into.
Liz Mc Comb
is a Gospel singer, but she could have been born into a family of
opera singers, or have followed in the steps of Edith Piaf or Oum
Kalsoum. Whatever the form, she would still have become what she
is today - an instinctive musician, and an overwhelming singer with
terrific presence. She could never have been a simple showbiz product.
be physically present in the studio, but her soul is elsewhere,
beyond time and space, in the Pentecostal church where she learned
to sing in the daunting shadow of the pastors, her parents, or in
the huge performance halls where as a young girl she had to overcome
her shyness, as she opened for such greats as James Brown and Ray
nothing to fear anymore. She is now in the Hall of Fame of great
African-American voices, all of them having arisen from the embrace
of the churches. She has opted to remain faithful to her religion,
instead of becoming a secular sister or pop diva like Aretha Franklin
or Tina Turner.
magic of her voice is proof that she’s got her feet on the ground,
and that her senses are very much alive, for conversion is the first
step on the road to eternal bliss and a testament to the supernatural
power that carries her into flight.
Gospel singers, similar to the Sufi poets of Islam, know that a
spiritual song always possesses quality, since God is “ Beloved
”. “ Sinner please ”, Liz Mc Comb fervently sings as if this unknown
sinner were her own brother. Her mystical and maternal songs are
songs of love as well. The tone grows more serious towards the end
of the album however “ The Rich Man ” is a reminder that the Bible
promises the wealthy a place in Hell, and that a place in Paradise
is the only thing that money cannot buy.
She is the
high Priestess of Funk-Gospel, ordained to carry the message in
honor of a religion that has never forgotten the black and blue
bruises that slavery has left, and Liz ends the album with a “ song
of freedom ” crying out to America in the name of Nelson Mandela’s
emancipated Africa : “ America before it’s too late, America open
up your gate ! ”.
album will likely open wide the gates of her native America for
his humble servant, daughter of Christ, has given Europeans a more
noble image of America by not worshipping only the Dollar, but Holy
Liz Mc Comb’s
music is just the opposite of show business. Her art is authentic
and popular, and touches a wide audience - directly, without compromise.
In an age where media trends dictate the rules, and where truth
has been overshadowed by facades, Liz Mc Comb has carved out a place
for herself using nothing but her voice, cradled by her faith.
plunging necklines, laser effects and tacky synthesizers are for
the others, the Muses of glib. She never had to rely on anything
like that. She rose to the top by word of mouth, without the need
of a sponsor or having to play up to the press.
A true star
is born, along the lines of those rare beings who have made it on
the sheer strength of their will alone. Liz Mc Comb conquered Europe
in only a few years, after a series of spectacular recitals. Her
concerts are always sold-out, a sign that there is some form of
justice, which truly comes from “ above ”.
Liz Mc Comb’s
concerts are the opposite of a show - they offer a mesmerizing human
experience and a true initiation for those who have never had the
privilege of entering an African American Church. Like her predecessors
Mahalia Jackson and Marion Williams, Liz Mc Comb knows how to convert
any public into a congregation of faithful “ followers ” and she
knows how to instill a holy atmosphere, whatever the setting may
was clearly apparent on her earlier live album. There, she was in
a state of grace before the crowd. But the first few notes of her
new album are living proof that she has climbed up yet another step
of that proverbial Jacob’s Ladder. It’s no longer a question of
communication or complicity but of true communion.
in her Los Angeles studio with her musicians, she was impervious
to solitude, and sang as if she had the entire world at her feet,
waiting to hear the Gospel - her songs of joy bringing back the
true meaning of the Evangel’s message of “ good news ”, crossing
age and color lines. “ Time Is Now ” : the time for Liz Mc Comb’s
sanctification has come.
that the only thing to be sanctified is what she has been singing
about since childhood - faith itself. If the powers that be can’t
recognize an artist of this caliber, this record will be sure to
haunt them - a reminder that “ a place in Paradise is the only thing
money can’t buy ”.
Arnaud Translation : Pamela Prudhomme / Jérôme Reese