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WoW Gospel 2004

  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Feb
WoW Gospel 2004
Sounds like … the annual two-disc collection of the most popular songs in contemporary gospel musicAt a glance … with an exceptionally broad variety of styles represented here, this album is a good buy for the occasional gospel listener or the hardcore fanTrack ListingDisc OneBrighter Day – Kirk FranklinI Almost Let Go – Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr SingersYou Are God Alone – Marvin SappYou Are God – Darwin HobbsStill Say Thank You (live) – Smokie NorfulDoesn't Really Matter – TonéxIt's Already Done – Bishop T.D. Jakes & The Potter's House Mass ChoirWorthy – VirtueMy Everything (Praise Waiteth) – Richard Smallwood with VisionHoly – Donnie McClurkinI Need You To Survive – Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship ChoirBless Me (Prayer Of Jabez) – Donald Lawrence & Tri-City SingersWade In The Water – The Blind Boys of AlabamaJesus – Debra KillingsDisc TwoYou Are My Daily Bread – Fred HammondShake Yourself Loose – Vickie WinansI Won't Let Go – John P. Kee & New LifeYou Can't Hurry God – Dorinda Clark-ColeWorship Medley (Joy Of The Lord, Oh The Glory) – Deitrick HaddonWhen I Enter Your Rest – Joann RosarioExalted Praise – Cece Winans presents The Born Again Church ChoirThere's Nothing Too Hard – Lamar Campbell & Spirit Of PraiseCome Ye Disconsolate – Ted & SheriIt's In My Heart – Harvey Watkins, JrHe's Coming Back – 7 Sons Of SoulAfterwhile – Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson & The Spiritual VoicesAmazing Grace – Shirley CaesarHigher In The Lord – Beverly CrawfordRight On Time – Lee Williams & the Spiritual QCsView The City – RiZen

Keeping up with what's going on in gospel music is a full-time job. Each year brings new albums, new artists, and new variations on traditional and contemporary styles—and that's without even looking into the thriving independent scene. The annual two-disc WoW Gospel compilation—a partnership between Verity, Provident, EMI and Word—is a good place to start.

The songs selected for WoW Gospel 2004 tend to be "high-impact" numbers—songs that have received a lot of radio play, made their way into the repertoires of local church choirs, or come from highly-acclaimed artists or albums. Those include Kurt Carr's "I Almost Let Go," Smokie Norful's "Still Say Thank You," and Donnie McClurkin's "Holy." Relative newcomers like Debra Killings and Ted & Sheri have songs on the album, as do longtime favorites Fred Hammond, Vickie Winans, John P. Kee, and Shirley Caesar. And songs from upcoming or newly released albums by Tonéx, Joann Rosario, and 7 Sons of Soul hint at what's to come in 2004. Styles include the traditional choir-driven sound, ethereal praise and worship, old-time quartet singing, and R&B, among others.

Because gospel music is an increasingly diverse genre, this type of album is a good buy for the budding or devoted fan. For the neophyte, the album is a comprehensive introduction to what's out there. The devoted fan or archivist will find it a fair representation of the last year in gospel—and a good way to have the favorites from the last year in one place.