Various Artists
M2K Gospel 2000 - Double CD & Video

Throughout the Ď90s, no two labels have had a greater impact on Gospel music than Gospo Centric Records and B-Rite Music. The labels that brought us Kirk Franklin, Tri-City Singers, and Trin-I-tee 5:7 have joined forces for the first time to bring the M2K double CDworld a compilation project titled M2K Gospel 2000. That's 'M' as in 'music', and this double CD combines 22 of the greatest songs from the history of the sister labels.

The first CD puts the beam on contemporary, and features perennial favorites including the "Stomp" remix, "Godís Grace" (Trin-I-Tee 5:7) and "Revolution" from Kirk's Nu Nation, compliments of production maestro, Rodney Jerkins. The archives were also mined, to include tracks on this CD such as "Power of God" from Stephanie Mills, "The Lord Strong and Mighty" (Kurt Carr Singers), and the remix to "Silver and Gold" from Kirk's Christmas album.

In addition, the project features very recent hit tracks, including "Iíll Be Good" (Gospel Gangstaz), the very reggae "Be Connected" (from Rev. Jackie McCullough's project) and "Oh, Lord Have Mercy" from The McClurkin Project. An added M2K contemporary CDfeature, and a definite winner, is the inclusion of an extended version of "My Desire", featuring Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Nu Nation. (The only stuff really missing is a contribution from Lamore, which would have rounded out the collection nicely). This contemporary compilation is definitely a winner and warrants much attention from any urban music lover. Yeah, you probably have 'em already, but it's a nice value pack to have them compiled like this.

There's more. The M2K Gospel 2000 compilation project continues with a traditional offering on disc 2. This CD features several favorites such as "Marvelous" (Walter Hawkins), "For Every Mountain" (Kurt Carr Singers), and the M2K traditional CDobvious "Shabach" (Byron Cage with the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Mass Choir). The compilation also reaches into the rich Gospo Centric library with classics such as "Do Not Pass Me By" (Lawrence Matthews), "I'm Grateful" (Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Mass Choir), and "Eagles Wings" by one of the label's very first signees, Betty Griffin-Keller. The album also features offerings from new label members including "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" (Bobby Jones with Maya Angelou) and "Keepin' Me Alive" from Bishop Paul S. Morton. This traditional CD is a Sunday morning winner.

The M2K Gospel 2000 concept extends into the video arena as well. Available separately, the 60-minute video features 10 video cuts of the labels' most well-known offerings. The diversity of the video is its strong suit, as it contains a mix of five concept videos and five live videos. From the concept side ofM2K video the project, featured videos include the renowned "Stomp" and "Revolution", "God's Grace", the mega-cameo'd "I'll Be Good" from the GGs, and the newest video, "Put Your Hands", from Trin-I-tee 5:7's sophomore project. Interwoven seamlessly are live offerings such as "Shabach" (Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Mass Choir), "Marvelous", "For Every Mountain" and "The Lord Strong and Mighty".

The only downer to the project is the closing video from the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Mass Choir, "Bow Down". While the song itself is worship-filled and awesome, poor camera work and inconsistent visuals make the entire experience more confusing than enjoyable. Nonetheless, the video set as a whole is strong.

As the first collaboration between Gospo Centric Records and B-Rite Music in the two labels' storied histories, the M2K Gospel 2000 project is slickly assembled, and makes us look forward to a possible sequel. Highly recommended!

Producers: Various
album release date: January 25, 2000
Gospo Centric / B-Rite

ó reviewed by Gerard Bonner ó

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