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The Power of One

Israel Houghton

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Album Review

The man who reinvented contemporary gospel has reinvented himself as a solo artist on this breakthrough debut, and the result is so unbelievable that even his biggest fans may not recognize the magnitude of his talents until experiencing it for themselves. Following a string of Grammy and Dove awards for his live recordings with Israel & New Breed, the breathtakingly broad-based songwriter and performer laid down his first solo studio album, The Power of One, in 2009. The theme of social consciousness is not new to gospel music, and yet Houghton is able to make it sound so fresh and so infectious that it practically stops you in your tracks, forcing you to sit down and examine new ways to make a difference in the world. Not very many artists have the ability to make such calls to action. And it's that self-examination that Houghton uses to power each masterful track. The album title connotes several dualities that add depth to the lyrics: "one," possibly referring to his becoming a solo artist, as well as a reflection on the theme of coming together in a single voice; and "many," possibly referring to the number of new ways he implies that we can increase our social consciousness, and also the mindbending number of genres that he is able to fuse together, or perhaps the number of guest stars who contribute as either co-writers, singers, or rhythm section. Those guests include tobyMac on the pulsing rock track "You Found Me," Mary Mary on the glorious ballad "Every Prayer," Chevelle Franklyn on the reggae of "Surely Goodness," and Delirious? singer Martin Smith treating listeners on the straightforward rock of "Sing Redemption's Song." Maybe the most impressive feature of the album, however, is how "Iz" captures the energy of his previous live recordings in a studio setting.

Customer Reviews

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING OF WORSHIP MUSIC

This album stands on its own without overdubbed crowd noises camouflaging about as the anointing and all the digitally enhanced spiritual effects that contribute to the pop worship culture's glass ceiling. There is substance to these songs and style to the sounds. Gone are the days where music lovers have to tolerate dumbed down arrangements in order to be inspired by truths sung by a predominately white led worship leader from an upper middle class church. Gone are the days of urban repetition and predictability in the gospel worship genre. This album breaks new ground and speaks to the polarized genres of modern worship, saying, "come together and enjoy the wonderfully unlimited dimensions of God's splendor." Each song passionately proclaims the posture of God toward His loving creation. This is a great worship record, period. The measuring stick is not how accessible the songs are or if your worship team can play them. It's not whether or not your pastor puts his stamp of approval on it or how often the Christian radio machine dares to play such a hybrid, multi-cultural sound to their narrow listener base. This is a great worship record because it glorifies God, testifies about His great grace and promotes the Father's interests. Thank you, Israel, for continuing to soar past the glass ceilings the church and contemporary Christian music have constructed in defining and marketing worship.

ARTWORK IS AVAILABLE

Thanks everyone for purchasing the record, and for so many great reviews. The artwork is available free at newbreedmusic.com or at the free iPhone app. called Israel Houghton thanks again for your support.

Breaking the Traditional Expectations of Worship Music

While I still believe that "Live from Another Level" is Israel & New Breed's best live album (better yet, best live worship album ever), Israel & New Breed continue to push the limits of what mainstream 'Church Culture' labels as 'OK' for Worship Music. They're constantly bringing new music filled with insane rhythmic, musical, and vocal arrangements. Israel & New Breed is a must-have if you're into worship. They'll push your playlist past the realms of "Contemporary Christian Music" into a whole new dimension.

Biography

Born: May 19, 1971 in Oceanside, CA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Worship leader, recording artist, songwriter, and producer Israel Houghton became involved full-time in worship ministry in 1989. From the start, he looked to overcome cultural and denominational barriers. With this idea as the centerpiece, Israel formed his New Breed Ministries in 1995 with his wife, Meleasa, and a group of world-class musicians and singers. Touring extensively brought the Ministries' powerful and diverse sound to churches around the U.S., while Israel's two 1997 releases —...
Full Bio
The Power of One, Israel Houghton
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