The winner of two Grammy Awards, Israel Houghton is a worship leader at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Over the years Houghton has been producing the Christian Gospel Music we have all come to know and enjoy. The last project he worked on was the well known CompassionART album but he has now returned with his own album, "The Power of One". The themes of the CompassionART project were however also clearly on Israel Houghton's heart and mind as he wrote, and worked on, this album. The lyrics of many of the songs deal with issues of injustice, poverty and suffering.
The album begins with the track "Everywhere That I Go", which initially sounds like it could be the latest Ne-Yo single but transforms into a funky gospel song with the aid of his talented backing vocalists. The same backing vocalists are used by Israel on many of the tracks on the album, providing a depth and richness of tone to the vocals. The album does exactly what we so often expect of gospel music, it makes you smile and leaves you feeling uplifted.
We see numerous other styles emerge through the album: "Just Wanna Say" brings us a sound similar to a rocking Destiny's Child track whereas, somewhat surprisingly, we get something of a reggae feel in "Surely Goodness" making you wish you could be on the beach singing.
The only track which I felt didn't quite fit on the album is "Sing Redemptions Song". With guest vocals from Martin Smith this song has a very different feel to the rest of the album and seems slightly lost and out of place. This, by no means, makes it a bad song though; it just doesn't fit seamlessly with the rest of the album. The album also features contributions from Mary Mary, Toby Mac, Tommy Sims & Chevelle Franklin, all of whom add a little of their own style to the songs.
Is this the gospel album of the year? Yes.
Review by Jono Davies
Jono rating 4 out of 5 stars Stand out Tracks
The Power of one
Sing Redemptions Song
Everywhere That I Go