STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 77778-12135 LABEL: Integrity 000768455128 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-03-24 RRP: £7.99
Reviewed by Paul Kerslake
Israel Houghton returns with his seventh album for Integrity and his first as a solo artist since his 'Whisper It Loud' in 1996. 'The Power Of One' is a spectacular progression from the increasingly predictable live worship albums Israel & New Break enjoyed US sales success with and this ambitious set is an inventive fusion of rock, funk, gospel, reggae and pretty much everything in between. Israel rips through the 14 tracks here and sounds like he's having a blast. it's hard to listen to this album without a smile. The lyrical theme flowing through the record (and also illustrated in the accompanying booklet) is that we all have the power to make a difference. It starts with us. "The Power of One" opens with the line "What if it all depended on me, to change the world.let me be the one." There are guest appearances aplenty with something for everyone, Mary Mary and Tommy Simms provide some gospel flavour, Martin Smith does a great vocal on "Sing Redemption's Song" and "You Found Me" has the not inconsiderable presence of Toby Mac with his hybrid rock/rap signature. Central to all of this is Israel's amazing voice. This is not a congregational album, the arrangements and production do not lend themselves to be sung on a Sunday morning. This is an album to be listened to, absorbed and enjoyed. The album flows beautifully from rock out roof down stomps to worshipful, upward focussed ballads. A personal favourite is "Moving Forward", a song that just builds and builds and literally makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The closing medley "My Tribute" blends Andrae Crouch's "My Tribute" with "How Great Is Our God". I've had it on constant rotation since I got it. This is the sound of an artist at the peak of his talent, this is a great album, a must have and deserves to be recognised as a classic though it will be intriguing to see what the church goers expecting neo-gospel live worship will make of this boldly inventive project.
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After years of creating songs for the church, travelling the world leading worship, winning Grammy awards and developing the New Breed movement, Israel is back with a studio project.
The Power of One features songs of hope, redemption, and revelation. Guests on The Power of One include Toby Mac, Martin Smith and Mary Mary.