WOW Gospel 2007
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Jan
- The Blessing of Abraham—Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers
- Psalm 68 (Let Our God Arise)—Kurt Carr
- Faithful Is Our God—Hezekiah Walker & LFC
- That Place—Myron Butler & Levi
- We Praise You—The McClurkin Project
- You Showed Me—Karen Clark-Sheard
- You Can Change—Tye Tribbett
- Let Go—DeWayne Woods
- Thank Ya Jesus—Darrel Petties & Strength in Praise
- I Made It—Keith Wonderboy Johnson & The Spiritual Voices
- All Things Working—LaShun Pace
- Church Medley—Donnie McClurkin
- Order My Steps—The Mighty Clouds of Joy
- Broken but I'm Healed—Byron Cage
- So Good to Me—Vanessa Bell Armstrong
- The Real Party (Trevon's Birthday)—Mary Mary
- Victory—Yolanda Adams
- Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore—Your Name
- Turn It Around—Israel & New Breed
- Celebrate—Smokie Norful
- Message for Ya—Nicole C. Mullen
- Everybody—Men of Standard feat. "Baby Dubb"
- You've Been So Good—Martha Munizzi
- No, Never—Kierra "KiKi" Sheard
- Livin' 4 (Remix)—J Moss
- You Know Me—George Huff
- Heaven Knows—Deitrick Haddon
- What Do You Do—Dave Hollister
- Love Makes the World Beautiful—V3*
- Healed Heart—Ramsey Lewis
- Precious Lord, Take My Hand—Kelly Price
The WOW Gospel franchise, which launched in 1998, continues to offer casual gospel listeners a snapshot of the best artists and songs the genre has produced in recent memory. As with previous editions, the cover art of WOW Gospel 2007 also pays homage to a major city—in this case Atlanta, one of the largest markets for gospel music, not to mention home to figures such as Byron Cage, Dottie Peoples, and Deitrick Haddon, among others.
But the album's main draw is naturally the music. Many of the selections are not only solid, but well-timed: the Tri-City Singers' "The Blessing of Abraham," Israel & New Breed's "Turn It Around," Smokie Norful's "Celebrate," and Myron Butler & Levi's "That Place" all belong here, as well as some inspired picks by newcomers Dave Hollister ("What Do You Do"), George Huff ("You Know Me"), and DeWayne Woods ("Let Go").
But for all the shoo-ins, there are also some strange choices. Tye Tribbett had one of his biggest years with his 2007 release, but his "You Can Change" is a 2004 track. "The Real Party" and "Victory"—by Mary Mary and Yolanda Adams, respectively—are almost as old, and should've been replaced with more current singles or new remix versions. And there are some puzzling choices (Karen Clark-Sheard's "You Showed Me" and Martha Munizzi's "You've Been So Good," among others) that aren't even hits.
These misguided picks are at least forgivable because the marquee value of the artists is undeniable. But some of gospel's brightest names aren't here. The absence of gospel's biggest name—Kirk Franklin—is all too glaring, being that Hero is still the best-selling gospel album of the moment. Other mainstays and their albums are also curiously missing (Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans), which render WOW Gospel 2007 a good collection, but certainly not the best of what's out there.