Stellar Awards Hits 2007
Light Records 2007
While the WOW Gospel two-CD series has served as gospel’s de facto greatest hits compilation since its inception in 1997, Light Records’ Stellar Awards Hits 2007 is a shorter but equally enjoyable swatch of the past year’s gospel music highlights.
Don’t expect to hear the fruits of those who walked away with Stellar hardware, though: the recordings included are simply representative of artists nominated for awards. Despite this general caveat, three 2007 awardees – Evangelist Shirley Caesar, Bishop G.E. Patterson and the Williams Brothers – are represented on the compilation with one track apiece.
The disc also includes radio favorites such as Israel and New Breed’s infectious “Turn it Around” from the group’s Alive in South Africa CD and a lovely presentation of “He Reigns” by Youthful Praise. Bishop Paul S. Morton’s “A Mighty Good Friend” is given full quartet treatment courtesy of the Christianaires’ Paul Porter and old school revivalist and Stellar winner Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson. For rootsy authenticity, “Just Another Day” from Lisa McClendon’s live set at New Orleans’ House of Blues is spicy and satisfying.
Conspicuously missing from the set are multiple Stellar-winners Myron Butler & Levi, and Donald Lawrence, the latter who sliced through this year’s Stellars like a hot knife through butter on the success of his Finale: Act One. My suspicion is that Light Records needed to produce the compilation long before the final tallies were made, and therefore went with a roster of likely candidates, especially those for whom licensing rights could be secured in time.