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A Fresh Wind

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Oct
A Fresh Wind
Sounds like … Israel & New Breed, Stephen Hurd, Fred Hammond, Toné x, and other proponents of explosive, high-energy praise and worship.At a glance … not too dissimilar from his debut, A Fresh Wind is an apt second chapter in the music ministry of Micah Stampley.Track Listing We Lift You Up
Holy Visitation
The Kingdom is Coming (Reprise)
No Compromise
You Are Lord
Another Place
Fervent Prayer
I Believe
Never Let You Go
Unfailing Love
Because You Love Me (Reprise)
Call to the Nations
Sovereign God

For a relative newcomer, Micah Stampley has gone places in short time. Since 2003, he has won a national talent search for gospel hopefuls, received endorsements from Bishop T.D. Jakes and his Dexterity Sounds label, scored a best-selling debut album, snagged Stellar nominations for New Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year, toured with countless gospel giants, and enjoyed glowing publicity from the likes of Billboard and AOL. Not bad at all.

All of this exposure is not unjustified. His initial public offering, The Songbook of Micah, revealed him to be a passionate worshipper with a towering tenor and diverse musical range—contemporary gospel, worship, Latin, funk, and rock. But perhaps more striking were Stampley's pastoral tendencies, which at times compelled him to break out in charismatic tongues, spontaneous prayer, and a sermon or two.

Stampley's second outing A Fresh Wind still possesses some of this worshipful panache, but here the music takes center stage. This stronger focus is due in part to Stampley's new collaborator, Israel & New Breed's longtime music director Aaron W. Lindsey. As co-producers, they're able to create an atmosphere of worship that takes the listener through a range of style and emotion, including energetic praise ("We Lift You Up), prayers of devotion ("I Believe"), and exhortation set to music ("No Compromise").

The singer is even able to take Passion worship leader Charlie Hall's apocalyptic "Holy Visitation" and turn it into a theatrical tour de force—with horns, rock guitars, and choir that sound as bold as street preachers. All of this renders A Fresh Wind an above-average gospel recording, even if, overall it doesn't necessarily qualify as a breath of fresh air. It's nonetheless a no-holds-barred portrayal of Stampley's heartfelt worship and heart for ministry…and then some.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.