Pastor T.L. Barrett led a youth choir out of Chicago during the late '60s and early '70s, just a few years after he got on the straight and narrow path, which may help listeners understand the unique power of the material on Like a Ship... (Without a Sail). Self-released by Barrett in 1971, it communicates many things, foremost being adoration and praise and, on the title track, the lost, aimless feelings that were undoubtedly shared by many a youth in the late '60s. Barrett got help on arrangements from some of Chicago's best studio hands, Chess/Cadet maestro Gene Barge, bassists Phillip Upchurch and Richard Evans, and drummer Charles Pittman. The opening title track is a moving piece of progressive soul, closer to Rotary Connection than Edwin Hawkins -- Barrett's vocals evoking Stevie Wonder singing in the style of Donny Hathaway -- and the choir is powerful and recorded well. A gem of contemporary gospel, much more obscure (at least outside of Chicago) than it deserved to be. ~ John Bush
Record Collector (magazine) (p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The title track stands as one of gospel's all-time incandescent moments, but outings such as the gorgeous 'Wonderful,' supercharged 'Ever Since' and aptly-titled 'Joyful Noise' are not far behind..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.86) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n alternately sweet and hard driving funk band....Imaginatively conceived originals and confidently recast standards..."