WOW Gospel 2000
The fact that the WOW Gospel concept needs little
introduction says much about it's impact. With only two predecessors, it
is rightly considered as the Godfather of all Gospel compilations.Producers: Steven Ford, Paul Wright III, various others
album release date: February 8, 2000
WOW Gospel 2000 follows the familiar pattern: multiple prominent label contributions from across the industry,
two discs jammed with the hottest
of Gospel singles over the past year (with some beyond that); contemporary cuts on disc one,
traditional cuts on disc two; several high profile remixes (including a brand new one); some
new cuts from unreleased projects that will without a doubt become
favorites in the coming year.
Zooming straight to the highlights is easy, because they're obvious. Tonéx's "Real For U" is an ethereal jazz-flava'd
cut from the San Diego allstar, featuring breathy vocals. This one comes
from his highly anticipated and
soon to be re-released project, entitled Pronounced Toe-Nay.
Fred Hammond's remix of "Jesus Is All" is ingenious. Confusing this one with Fred's previous remix of the same song
would be a big mistake, as they're worlds apart. This one is
brand new, as Fred incorporates the traditional hymn,
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness", making you wonder what all is really going on
in Fred's head to be able to think up THAT! It's a major head-bobber that has a similar tempo to
the original, but with more flava.
Other remixes include Darkchild's remix handywork (Rodney Jerkins co-wrote Fred Jerkins remixed)
of Dawkins and Dawkins' "Wrapped Up", which is
derived from their Focus project. And most
will be familiar with the urban mix of Anointed's "Revive Us",
which was found as a bonus track on their self-titled album from 1999.
Brand new tracks include bounce and sizzle on "Never Seen The Righteous" from Donald
Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers (from their
upcoming TriCity4.com project on EMI Gospel), plus "Testify" from
Commissioned (featuring new members Chris Poole and Marcus Cole).
Verity's newcomer, Tarralyn Ramsey, has made
multiple appearances on compilations in the recent past. Here, on
"Unconditional Love", she makes her mark with a wonder of balladry, showcasing her Whitney-like vocals. (But let's be fair and acknowledge that her vocals on this cut make it hard to believe
that Whitney Houston could even come close to doing anything better...it's just
that good.) Written by Carnell Murrell and produced by both Murrell and
bassman Wayman Tisdale, it's another album highlight. Ramsey's debut is scheduled for later this
You wouldn't be satisfied if there wasn't some Shirley Caesar, Albertina Walker,
Canton Spirituals, Vickie Winans and Dottie Peoples on the traditional set. So you can rest assured
that satisfaction comes guaranteed, as these artists each contribute strong singles on the second more traditional disc. One
slight quibble is the inclusion of Donnie McClurkin's "Hark the Herald".
It's wonderful Christmas classic, but seems a little misplaced.
It would have been REAL nice to hear a sneak peek of
something from McClurkin's solo project, due out later this year on Verity but let's not be greedy.
At thirty-two songs in total, it's hard to touch on them all, and we haven't even mentioned Brent Jones, Virtue,
Hez, BeBe, Montrel Darrett and Kim Burrell yet. But they're all there, and then some. Click on these links for a
listing of Disc One,
and Disc Two.
Look for this set to quickly squeeze its way into the upper echelons of the Gospel
charts. With the accompanying WOW Gospel 2000 video to soon follow, it can't miss.
reviewed by Stan North and Melanie Clark —
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