Power of Praise Vol. 1 

(Elmark Music/Grace TMG Street Pride/Wendy City Productions) 

By Mike O’Cull www.mikeocull.com  

Elmark Music shouts the good news from every mountain top on its new compilation release of gospel/inspirational music Power of Praise Vol. 1. It’s a 15-song set of inspirational praise music from top artists including Cameo Profit, J. Love, La’Kesia Rambo-Barrett, Kajmir Kwest, Stephan Ray, Raquel Herring, The Message, Oatmeal Brown, J-Prince, Dunamis L1019, Gem’N.I., and Da’Vid. The tracks encompass a wonderful variety of styles from traditional gospel to rap to world music, which makes the record an outstanding listening experience from start to finish. The songs are also firmly centered in the Word and teachings of Christ and each one delivers a strong message in its own way.  

Cameo Profit starts things off with the upbeat funk of “Speak To Your Day,” an uplifting song meant to get your mind right in order to provide you with a blessed day. It’s a body and soul-moving selection that raises the roof with positive energy. J. Love follows with the meditative hip hop cut “Show Me The Way.” It’s a song about longing for a connection with God after too long in the darkness of a difficult three-job life. J. Love brings it in a genuine and moving way that’s clearly backed up by real faith.  

“My Storm” by Stephan Ray is a beautiful, straightforward song of deep faith in difficult times. His expressive vocals suit the track’s message well and Ray is smooth and soulful throughout. Oatmeal Brown’s “God is the Plug” rocks the Word in an old-school rap style topped with a pop-influenced vocal. The track is an unexpected gem that helps to redefine the term “gospel music.” Other highlights of this strong set include Raquel Herring’s slinky neo-soul “King Jesus” and David’s low-down hip hop slow jam “Time.” Power of Praise Vol. 1 is an excellent collection of music from some of today’s most talented inspirational voices. Gospel fans looking for something new will find it here.