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WoW Gospel 2006

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
WoW Gospel 2006
Sounds like … an amalgamation of the best gospel music has to offer, including traditional, contemporary and urban stylesAt a glance … save some noted omissions, WoW Gospel 2006 gets it mostly right as far the year's biggest gospel artists and songs are concernedTrack ListingDisc 1 Darwin Hobbs - Glorify Him Marvin Sapp - Do You Know Him Tye Tribbett & G.A. - No Way Kierra "KiKi" Sheard - Let Go (The Godson Concept) Myron Butler & Levi - Set Me Free Anointed - Gonna Lift Your Name Deitrick Haddon - God Didn't Give Up Mary Mary - Save Me CeCe Winans - Purified Fred Hammond - I Will Find a Way Smokie Norful - God Is Able Joann Rosario - I Hear You Say J Moss - We Must Praise Donald Lawrence & Co. - I Speak Life Nicole C. Mullen - Without You Antonio Neal - The Only OneDisc 2 Donnie McClurkin - I Call You Faithful Hezekiah Walker & LFC - Lift Him Up Dorinda Clark-Cole - Great Is the Lord Tonx & the Peculiar People - Since Jesus Came Ted & Sheri - Celebrate Micah Stampley - War Cry The Kurt Carr Project - God Great God Karen Clark-Sheard - Authority New Birth Total Praise Choir - God Is VIP Mass Choir feat. John P. Kee - Bread of Heaven The Mighty Clouds of Joy - House of the Lord LaShun Pace - For My Good Ben Tankard - Jesus Is Love George Huff - A Brighter day Darlene McCoy - Fallen in Love Paul Robbins - I Pray

Since launching in 1998, the WoW Gospel series has captured the best and brightest gospel music has to offer. Only recently, however, has the popular music franchise featured a particular city of historical relevance to the genre in its cover art, this year's compilation paying homage to Chicago for its contributions to the field. Appropriate given that it was the Windy City where Thomas A. Dorsey is credited with giving birth to gospel music, paving the way for some of gospel's most famed legends, including James Cleveland, The Caravans, and The Highway QCs.

WoW Gospel 2006 may not feature any of this classic talent, but it nevertheless includes many of today's hottest artists and songs, including both established veterans and a healthy number of newcomers. From the get-go, the pacing isn't the greatest—the front half of Disc One is loaded with up-and-comers and lesser-known artists. But by the time Myron Butler & Levi deliver "Set Me Free," the set is on strong enough footing to continue undeterred.

Plenty of obvious choices are included—Smokie Norful's "God Is Able," J Moss' "We Must Praise," Donald Lawrence and Co.'s "I Speak Life," Donnie McClurkin's "I Call You Faithful," among others—all of which are shoo-ins in a collection of this caliber. But some selections are confusing, with lesser-known tracks by CeCe Winans, Mary Mary, and Kurt Carr, all of which have more popular radio singles to their credit.

A serious flaw, however, is the omission of praise-and-worship powerhouse Israel & New Breed, a group that had such a monstrous 2005 they should have been recognized here somehow. For that matter, where's Kirk Franklin—the biggest name in gospel—and his album Hero? Beyond those exclusions, WoW Gospel 2006 is an adequate and above-average compilation for the casual gospel fan—i.e., those who just want something inspiring and spirited to sing along to, and not those who nitpick about who made the cut or not.

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