Worship albums can be curious things: they can either be amazing and groundbreaking, or they can be unoriginal and irritatingly dull. Israel Houghton's The Power of One, however, doesn't seem to want to fit into either category, leaving listeners with a mixed result.
Mr. Houghton makes it obvious that he wanted to make something different than a normal worship record, and with some tracks, he succeeds. Tracks like the relentlessly upbeat "Just Wanna Say," the reggae influenced "Surely Goodness," the all-around unique "U R Loved," the epic "You Found Me" featuring tobyMac, plus others, make for great originals, and help make The Power of One stand out. I applaud this man for his willingness to create something different in this genre that is mostly flooded with mediocrity.
If only this uniqueness was a common theme throughout the entire work; but alas, this isn't the case. Israel Houghton makes a good effort most of the time, but there are a few times when he puts the creativity on hold. "The Power of One (Change the World)," for example, sounds far too much like U2's own hit, "One." Houghton has gone on to say that it was merely inspired by U2's song, but unfortunately it didn't work out as an inspired song but rather as a near blatant copy. And speaking of blatant copies, there's a little boy who appears periodically in the record with little comments, just like tobyMac's albums with TruDog. But instead of using this for cuteness/humorous effect, it interrupts the album's fluidity and concept, especially with the unnecessary intro track "My Name Iz."
As with many albums in the worship genre, most of the problematic tracks seem to suffer further from their lengthy durations, and cutting down the time of these tracks would have made them more bearable. The last song, "My Tribute Medley," also proved to be a track that should have gotten the axe, as it ends up as an unneeded instrumental stream that most listeners will want to skip in future hearings.
Israel Houghton had a good thing going, but the entire album could have been improved if he majored on the uniqueness factor and made it a constant theme. For what he has produced, though, it's slightly better than some worship records today, and some will come to find much to like here, but The Power of One turns out to be a merely average effort that doesn't warrant too much extra attention.- Review date: 3/29/09, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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