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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

WoW Gospel 2008

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Feb
  • COMMENTS
WoW Gospel 2008
Sounds like … top-shelf contemporary gospel from the likes of Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Smokie Norful, Marvin Sapp, and many more.At a glance … it's not a perfect compilation, but WoW Gospel 2008 is good enough at providing a general, if not somewhat belated, overview of the state of contemporary gospel.Track Listing

Disc 1

Kirk Franklin - Looking For You
Myron Butler & Levi - Stronger
Karen Clark Sheard - Be Blessed
J Moss featuring Anthony Hamilton - I'm Not Perfect
Smokie Norful - Where Would I Be
CeCe Winans - All That I Need
LaShun Pace - Complete?
Hezekiah Walker & LFC feat. Dave Hollister - Grateful (Remix)
Yolanda Adams - Hold On
Mary Mary - Yesterday
Kelly Price - Heaven's Best
Kurt Carr - If I Tell God??????
Vanessa Bell Armstrong - Wait
The Clark Sisters - Blessed & Highly Favored
Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers - Encourage Yourself
DeWayne Woods feat. the Tri-City Singers - God Is
The Mighty Clouds of Joy - Movin'
Patti LaBelle feat. Mary Mary - Anything

Disc 2

New Life Community Choir feat. John P. Kee - Sanctuary
Marvin Sapp - Magnify
Fred Hammond - This Is The Day
Byron Cage - Holy Holy Holy
Israel & New Breed feat. T-Bone - With Long Life
Kierra KiKi Sheard - You
James Hairston & Youthful Praise - Incredible God, Incredible Praise
Tye Tribbett & G.A. - Sinking
Richard Smallwood with Vision - I'll Trust You
Tramaine Hawkins feat. Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music - Never Lost My Praise
Juanita Bynum - I Don't Mind Waiting
Donnie McClurkin - Only You Are Holy
Nicole C. Mullen - One Touch (Press)
West Angeles Mass Choir - Lord Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary
Bishop T.D. Jakes & the Potter's House Mass Choir - Grace

Like other periodic, multi-label compilations, the WoW franchise has never been essential. But it's otherwise necessary to bring casual listeners up to speed to the latest goings-on in different genres. Of course, WoW buyers aren't fanatics by any means, which explains why the product line can get away with songs that are two or three years old, and still continue to sell albums by the millions. Will WoW Gospel 2008 continue the platinum-selling streak?

Maybe. There's plenty of current material by some of the biggest names in contemporary gospel, including the latest by The Clark Sisters, Israel & New Breed, Myron Butler & Levi, Yolanda Adams, and John P. Kee, all of whom appear here with their newest contributions. Even songs by Smokie Norful, LaShun Pace, Marvin Sapp, and Tye Tribbett make sense here, even if they're not necessarily their latest hit singles or super current by calendar-year standards.

Others, however, are curiously too stale to be included here. Though Kirk Franklin, the biggest artist in gospel, released a new album in late 2007, the relatively ancient "Looking for You" from 2005's Hero is included instead. Same is true of Mary Mary's "Yesterday," a stellar song by any standards, but also way past its freshness date. Equally unseasonable are CeCe Winans' "All That I Need" and Kurt Carr's "If I Tell God"—good songs, sure, but sneak-peek selections from their upcoming projects would've been much more apropos.

Then again, that's a critic talking. Give WoW Gospel 2008 to any remotely knowledgeable fan of contemporary gospel, and chances are these songs are exactly what they need to get their praise on. Sure, it may not be perfect or essential by any stretch of the imagination, but then again, WoW never made such claims. It only exists to offer "30 of the year's top gospel artists and songs"—a wide margin of error there, but just what the series needs to get away with its mixed song selection.

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