WOW Gospel 2002
Various Gospel Artists
EMI/Provident/Verity/Word

If you have no idea what's hot in contemporary soul gospel, then WOW Gospel 2002 is a double-disc collection you need to get. Featuring some of the biggest names in gospel music, like Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans and Donnie McClurkin, WOW Gospel 2002 brings together a wide variety of gospel music makers and their radio hits, making it a smart value.

Kirk Franklin and 1NC (One Nation Crew) offer Unconditional, with a funked-up groove you can dance to, in typical Franklin fashion. One wonders, however, if the Spanish language interjected on Unconditional is there simply to sell the song to the burgeoning Latin market. Gospel music is a business, after all.

There's no denying that Latin music has made an impact on the general mass-market music business. The Latin beat shows up on Victory - Live by Kim Burrell, which quickly becomes a shoulder-shakin' dance song.

Deeper brings back the funk. The slow dance jam is sung with gusto by Darwin Hobbs, a promising Christian artist whose voice resembles that of Luther Vandross.

Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter's House Mass Choir had a great CD out last year, and one of the best songs from that collection, When My Season Comes, appears on WOW Gospel 2002.

Donnie McClurkin, who had a banner year in 2001, is represented with the memorable That's What I Believe.

Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers' Jesus Can Work It Out, along with And Yet I'm Still Saved by Donald Lawrence & Tri-City Singers, and the foot-stompin' I Believe (Live) from John P. Kee & New Life Community Choir are some of the choral highlights on WOW Gospel 2002.

Songs from Dottie Peoples, Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson, Ricky Dillard and Yolanda Adams are also featured on WOW Gospel 2002.

With so much talent gathered on two discs, it will take a while to pick your favorite song(s), but that's what makes the WOW concept so great. Where else can you get such a stellar set of songs on two discs? WOW Gospel 2002 is a wonderful way to introduce your ears to artists you haven't heard yet, while getting the best from old favorites. Enjoy.