Album Review: Elizabeth Cook — Gospel Plow

Juli Thanki | June 12th, 2012

elizcookgospelplowWhether you spend Sunday mornings in a church pew or in a Waffle House booth self-medicating a hangover, Elizabeth Cook’s got a record for you.

Inspired by a 2011 performance at the Strawberry Music Festival’s gospel brunch and influenced by the recent passing of her father, the subject matter of her new spiritual EP is somewhat of a departure from her previous albums, which include songs like “Yes to Booty” and “Heroin Addict Sister.” However, the sound is pure Cook: a little sweet, a little sassy, and a lot country, only this time, it’s bolstered with a bit of church organ.

“If I Had My Way, I’d Tear This Building Down,” the EP’s standout track, is straight out of a revival meeting, an a cappella number that begs the listener to clap and sing along with Cook and her backing vocalists. Her tender version of “The Other Side of Life” — perhaps the loveliest version since Vern Gosdin’s recording — is reminiscent of a young Dolly Parton and her early ‘70s single “When I Sing for Him,” before she turns a musical 180 on the following track, a deliciously twangy take on “Hear Jerusalem Calling” anchored by banjo and Telecaster. A moving cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” rounds out the album. Hardly a Sunday morning standard, but Cook sure makes it sound like one as she pleads “Jesus, let me find my proper place/Help me in my weakness, ‘cause I’m falling out of grace.”

Clocking in at under twenty minutes, Gospel Plow will leave more than a few listeners praying for Cook to release a full-length gospel album in the future. Until then, we’ll always have Waffle House.

3.5 Stars

Preview or purchase Gospel Plow

  1. Jack Williams
    June 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Ordered my copy of the CD on her website this morning. A bit pricey when you add in the shipping cost, but she’s an artist that’s well worth the splurge. Looking forward to some bad ass Tim Carrol guitar playing, too.

    Intrigued about the VU cover “Jesus.” Beautiful song and she did very well on another VU cover in the past (Sunday Morning from the Ball album).

  2. Rick
    June 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Can’t wait to listen to the track snippets on Amazon. It’s just a shame Elizabeth and Tim didn’t cover the old George and Tammy classic “God’s Gonna Getcha For That!”. (lol)

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