Various Artists
WOW Gospel 2012

It's a brand new year, meaning it's time to recap the hottest Gospel songs out there. Yes, WOW Gospel is back! The WOW Gospel compilation always offers an array of Gospel music's best from the previous year, displaying the eclectic nature of the Gospel genre as we know it today. We see contemporary, urban inspired, traditional, jazz inspired, and CCM inspired styles on this 2-CD set.

2011 proved to be a groundbreaking year in Gospel music. Tuesday (the day when all new CDs are released) became everyone's favorite day of the week as some of Gospel's hottest acts returned to the scene with songs of praise, adoration, and breakthrough. If you take a moment to think back, you realize that this collection of songs is a must when you're in your car or on your portable music device for when you are on the go!

CDKicking off the praise party is Kirk Franklin's "Before I Die" the upbeat tempo track from his Stellar Award winning project, Hello Fear. Next you are going to be "Walking" with the soon to be WETV reality stars Mary Mary. Then Isaac Carree takes you "In the Middle" from his album Uncommon Me which remains at the top of the Billboard charts since its debut in 2011.

Pastor Marvin Sapp is getting ready to release his new album I Win later in 2012, however Gospel fans still can't get enough of "He Has Hands His Hands On You", which has proven to be another hit from his Here I Am project. Deitrick Haddon is a man of many talents and has reminded the Gospel community that on that grand day we all want to hear "Well Done".

In the meantime we are going to do what Jessica Reedy instructed us to do and "Put It On the Altar". We can get our groove on with "The Rose of Gospel" Dorinda Clark-Cole with her hit single "Back To You".

The compilation smoothly transitions to "Sweeter" from the amazing Kim Burrell (her sister Kathy penned the beautiful song). 21:03 showcase their growth in the bumping mid-tempo, "Incredible".

WOW Gospel 2012 does a great job of displaying a diverse lineup. Israel Houghton, commands us to "Love God, Love People", while rapper Lecrae encourages us to brag on God with the acoustic-laced jam, "Boasting" (Anthony Evans was the perfect choice to sing the hook on the cut).

Fred Hammond brings an edgy and slightly rock feel to the remixed, "He Lives" which is included on his upcoming God, Love, and Romance release. Ballads are represented with "Believe" from the rejuvenated Jennifer Hudson and "Encore" from songwriter extraordinaire James Fortune and FIYA. There is so much to listen to and enjoy.

We see Ricky Dillard & New G, also recognized for the "Choir of the Year" category at the 2012 Stellar Awards, represented with their hit single "God Is Great". Earnest Pugh's chart topping single "I Need Your Glory", Wess Morgan's soulful "I Choose To Worship", Kierra Sheard's power packed "You Are", and the reflective "It's All God" by the Soulseekers are some of most memorable and loved songs of 2011.

New solo artist Anita Wilson caught the attention of the Gospel music community with her smooth ballad "Speechless", while standing by her mentor Donald Lawrence with his widely popular YRM (Your Righteous Mind).

The Together We Stand Community Choir, Mali Music, forever JONES, and Martha Munizzi speak to diversity of sounds on the compilation, with the message of the Gospel still ringing true through each song.

The legendary Andrae Crouch produced an amazing project this year yielding what's sure to be a Gospel classic "Let The Church Say Amen". John P. Kee and Rance Allen delivered a sure favorite of the year with their collaboration on the song "Blessings". Smokie Norful took us back to the days of good old school traditional Gospel music with "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", while Richard Smallwood wowed us again with his amazing ability to compose beautiful songs with extremely impactful lyrics with "Trust Me".

VasShawn Mitchell gave us his version of the praise and worship standard "Chasing After You", while Myron Butler & LEVI rendered another praise and worship great with "Bless The Lord".

Continuing with precendent, WOW Gospel 2012 is a great compilation of songs that reminds listeners why they have loved Gospel music and will continue to support it. So many amazing artists spanning generations, styles, and sounds are represented.

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Production: Various
album release date: Jan 24, 2012
Zomba Gospel

— review by Martin Williams, Nakiyah Hayling, Dwayne Lacy

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