VARIOUS : Soul Inspired by the Epic Film Ben-Hur. (Provident : 83061-1064-2)
As the title suggests, this album is billed as a compilation of “remarkable, soulful music of redemption and faith.” Many of gospel’s biggest and brightest talents have been gathered, including the reunion of multi platinum selling and multi Grammy award-winning duo Mary, Mary. The song they perform is called “Back To You,” and it’s one of those songs where you think you’ve heard it before. Indeed, that happened to me. Eventually, I realised that the melody bears a notable resemblance to Rhinaana’s 2007 hit “Umbrella.” Deitrick Haddon produces a decent chart sound with “Perfect Storm.” It’s a suave song that includes the rap “Let the winds blow, let the thunder roll. I’ll ride that storm like a rodeo.” With God at your side, He will guide you through the storm. Personally, I don’t find gospel songs that enthralling when the lead singer begins to yell and holler. That being the case, both “Send Judah First” by Judith McAllister, and Smokie Norful’s “Justified” did nothing for me. In between those songs, Tasha Cobbs and a full gospel choir deliver a strong song that celebrates living with Christ in you, on “Happy.” And, in ballad style Brian Courtney Wilson’s warm vocals embrace each word on “Already Here.” It’s quite a collection, and one that will please lovers of this genre. 7/10.