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Change the World

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Apr
Change the World
Sounds like … eclectic praise and worship music keenly similar to Israel & New Breed, but as led by the potent alto of Martha MunizziAt a glance … spoken word interludes notwithstanding, Change the World has some of the most explosive—and uncharacteristic—material Martha Munizzi has recorded thus farTrack Listing Invincible God Invincible Overture Nothing Can Separate Me Dance Dance (Reprise) Favor of God Favor of God (Reprise) Spoken Word Interlude More Than Enough Wrap Me in Your Arms Jesus Loves Me Forever Always I Receive Your Love The King Habitation Change the World

It's not without some fear and trepidation that artists go independent after success with a major label. After enjoying the perks and comforts of a record company, it's understandable for a musician to be a little wary of autonomy. That's not the case with Martha Munizzi. After a short-lived, one-album stint with Integrity Music for her chart-topping third album, No Limits Live, she's back to doing things on her own with Change the World. And Munizzi says she wouldn't have it any other way.

That's not the only thing that Munizzi is doing differently this time around. She's also back to working alongside longtime friends Israel Houghton and Aaron Lindsey, the same production duo who sat at the boards for her 2003 breakthrough, The Best Is Yet to Come. But don't think of the two albums as comparable. Though there is an Israel & New Breed flavor felt throughout, the logistics here seem better planned out—the songwriting is more intentional, the arrangements are tighter, the rough edges have been sanded down.

Change the World asserts itself right out of the gate as a praise-and-worship monster of its own. "Invincible God" sizzles, "Nothing Can Separate Me" uplifts, "Favor of God" brings on the funk, and "More than Enough" recalls the beach. As the disc winds down, the ballads have a warm, invitational tone, as if they've been fashioned with church purists in mind. "The King" and "Habitation," in particular, sound like classics in the making—Richard Smallwood would be proud.

One thing that Munizzi refuses to back down on is her heart for ministry. Don't expect her to stick to four-minute praise sessions and call it a night. If the mood is right, she'll preach, she'll exhort, she'll even bid congregants to bust a move … in Spanish, if need be. While heartfelt, these moments of spontaneous church could be a distraction for some—they're certainly not an iPod's best friend. But that's what makes her Martha Munizzi: she's a worshipper first, a singer second. It's hard to find fault with something like that.

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