WOW Gospel 2002
It’s time to put the year on rewind as the annual WOW Gospel project hits the shelves. There’s no more sure thing in Gospel than this collection you might as well slap it with a Gold status sticker right now.Producers: Various
album release date: February 5, 2002
True to form, WOW Gospel 2002 is a 2-CD set divides itself into contemporary and traditional, sharing the years’ musical bounty between a diverse fifteen record label entities. New this year are contributions from GospoCentric, courtesy the common link they now share on the distribution side (both go through Zomba/Provident).
On the traditional side, WOW Gospel 2002 features Bishop Jakes and company with “When My Season Comes” and John P. Kee’s foot stomping “I Believe” (the live version). Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson does some foot stomping of his own on “Be Right”.
Donald Lawrence’s “And Yet I’m Still Saved” and Ricky Dillard’s “If We Faint Not” weigh in for the brat pack. Everybody’s favorite girl, Angie Spivey, contributes the moving “These Thorns”, while the head-bobbing Christianaires with “Stand Up” and the Stellar Award-sweeping Kurt Carr Singers keep the drive going with “Jesus Can Work It Out”.
And if you haven’t heard the Minneapolis choir scene, this would be your time to check out Stellar Best New Artist awardee Excelsior, as they hit hard with their single “Calvary” (see album review).
Crossing over the fence to the contemporary, there are smash hits of the year from Pastor Hezekiah Walker and LFT (fighting “The Battle”) as well as from Cece Winans, who bounces with “King of Kings” (from her Alabaster Box project).
EMI Gospel newcomer LeJuene Thompson gives love from her solo debut project Soul Inspiration on “Born Again” and new duo Remixx sound out on “Dear Lord” (see album review).
Click on the above CD covers for reviews of WOW Gospel from the years 2001 and 2000.
For the serious Gospel afficianado who maybe already has all the songs on this project, the best part of this series is the inclusion of advance music from forthcoming releases.
Newly signed to Verity Records, Marvin Sapp’s title cut single “I Believe” reminds of his Grace and Mercy style, with Percy Bady back at the helm and ministry front and center. Deitrick Haddon previews his greatness to come on Verity with “Home”, a mid-tempo acoustic guitar-driven ballad. Smokey Norful’s neo-soul influences and knack for a good melody are evident on “It’s All About You”, showing the incredible promise from this singer/songwriter who is slated for a May release on EMI Gospel.
The perpetually pushed back Bad Boy gospel project submit’s the bright-shining “You” and makes you want P. Diddy to let go and let God do his thing with this release. The tune features Faith Evans, 112, Carl Thomas, Mario Winans, Thelma Guyton, Asia & Ashley, Cheri Dennis, Tammy Ruggeri, and Hezekiah Walker and is an sure-fire chart scorcher from the jump. Hopefully the Bad Boy camp will loosen the reigns so we can hear the rest of this hot and hopeful release.
Thirty-two songs strong and with new packaging geared to garner attention, it’s once again time to be wowed.
Verity, EMI Gospel, Word
reviewed by Melanie Clark and Stan North —
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