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WOW Gospel 2007

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
WOW Gospel 2007
Sounds like … some of the biggest names in gospel music, including Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Mary Mary, and Israel & New Breed.At a glance … a good—but not great—gospel compilation, mainly due to odd song selections and a few glaring omissions that misrepresent the genre's zeitgeist.Track Listing

Disc One

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

Disc Two:

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.

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