‘The Time for Peace is Now’ Shines Light on Funk and Soul Roots in Classic Gospel (ALBUM REVIEW)

If you look at the history of music from blues to country, a lot of artists trace their musical beginnings to gospel music. The strange thing is that classic gospel music isn’t always easy to come by. You can probably find some on streaming services, but it’s harder to find albums of classic gospel sounds. The Time for Peace is Now is a compilation of rare 45s from the 70s. It is a unique compilation because these gospel songs don’t focus on God or the church. Rather, these songs focus on people and “how we exist together.”

The best thing about these recordings is that they are pretty true. These songs were dug out of some record crate, but they clearly weren’t touched up to the point that that they’re slick. There is a roughness to these songs that only adds to the charm. When you listen to songs like “A Time for Peace” and “That’s a Sign of the Times”, it sounds like you’re spinning a 45 even if you’re listening via a digital format.

These songs are soulful with influences from Afrofunk as well as classic soul. “Keep Your Faith in the Sky”, for example, is reminiscent of Otis Redding. Meanwhile, when you hear the backing vocals and the rhythm in “Condition the World Is in”, you can’t help but think about early Funkadelic.

“Peace in the Land” is a song that stands out. The first lyrics are “Are you doing the best you can in this world full of sin?” The lyrics are deep and thought-provoking, but subtle at the same time. The subtlety basically comes from the fact that it’s easy to focus more on the bass line than the lyrics. It’s rare that a song with such a deep and heavy theme will make you move like this one.

Don’t be frightened by the spiritual nature of this album. You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer to appreciate the moving, soulful tunes. In fact, you can enjoy this album even if you’ve never been to a church for anything other than a wedding.

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