- reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Jul
- Use the Word
- Hold On
- Hold On (Reprise)
- Thank You
- When the Saints Go to Worship
- When the Battle Is Over
- It's a New Day
- Press On
- High Cost of Praise (with narration)
- High Cost of Praise
- Oh Lord We Praise Your Name
Benita Washington is the winner of the 2003 Gospel Dream talent search competition, a reality show in which she beat more than 500 singers to win the contest—and the prize of a recording contract with Light Records.
After hearing her sing on her debut,
The whole album is a pleasurable listen, largely because of Washington's capable handling—and plenty of help from prominent producers, strong songwriters and well-known musicians. Background vocals (many by the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Mass Choir) are crisp and dramatic. But in contrast to many winners of this type of contest-and unlike many first-time projects-it's unmistakably clear that Washington holds her own. She's not being carried by these elements, strong as they are. She's a collaborator, not a dependent.
There are several songs avid gospel fans have heard before—and they meet or exceed the quality of previous recordings as Washington brings her own touch. "Hold On," from Londa Larmond's
Other highlights—if one must choose—include the dramatic "High Cost of Praise," featuring Bishops Joseph Walker and Paul S. Morton; the island-kissed "Oh Lord, We Praise Your Name"; "Expressions," with R&B whimsy; and the churchified "Use the Word."