Album Review: Ten Thousand Angels – Billy Gaines by Contributing Writer Michael P. Coleman
Best known as one-half of the Dove Award-winning duo Billy & Sarah Gaines from the 1980s and ʻ90s, Billy Gainesʼ voice is very reminiscent of the late Donny Hathawayʼs.
Gainesʼ “Ten Thousand Angels” is the gospel album that Hathaway wasnʼt with us long enough to record. Gaines has been ministering on his own since 2002. His most recent album — and ﬁrst solo record — is the collection of traditional hymns that he says his mother always wanted him to record. It is a radical right turn from the MOR contemporary Christian music for which he became famous. Itʼs also the best album of his career.
The independently produced and distributed album highlights Gainesʼ stirring tenor, supported only by the simple piano accompaniment of Bernie Herms. The artist says the entire project was recorded during a single evening session in a church studio. In 37 minutes, he proves you donʼt need a huge band or production budget to record a masterpiece. Gaines opens the disc with the title track and moves seamlessly through the album, including pitch-perfect renditions of well known and loved hymns like “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”, “ʻTis So Sweet”, and “Abide With Me”.
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