★★★★

While Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has always been renowned for his fragile and soaring vocals, and song styles of an infinitely delicate embrace, his third studio release TheGospelAlbum sees the artist move beyond the beautiful and into the spiritual.

On previous albums, he sings to you a story; you can hear the pain and hardships overcome in his voice, even if you may not understand his native Yolngu language. And while his music has always been immensely personal, TheGospelAlbum takes things to an entirely different level. Listening to it feels as though you’re overhearing a private prayer to all things great and bad in the world. Album opener ‘Jesu’ sees Gurrumul’s already high tenor voice gifted with an almost sermon-like quality thanks to his choir, and tracks ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Walu (Time)’ connect through deeply moving vocals and guitar chords.

There are some who will not want to engage with what is clearly an album with strong spiritual roots, however, the album transcends any more serious aspects of faith in the same way any great piece of religious art does, by its heartbreaking tenderness and simple beauty.

Music has the power to transcend all physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries, and The Gospel Album preaches this on every song.

Gurrumul’s The Gospel Album is out on Skinnyfish/MGM.