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Wow 2001
Various Artists
Label:  Sparrow
Length:  2 Discs/ 30 Tracks

Wow 2001 is a complete collection of the best in the Christian music industry, but the title is a bit inaccurate due to the fact most songs on the project are at least one, if not two, years old!  That’s not to say that the compilation of artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, D.C. Talk, and Newboys isn’t superb, it just doesn’t feature “The Year’s 30 Top Christian Artists and Hits” of the coming year, as the title suggests.

Since the disc was released in the latter portion of 2000, it would have been impossible for the project coordinators to pick the hottest hits of the coming year, although resorting to several 1999 releases shouldn’t have been a part of the selection process.  Take for instance Chapman’s “Dive,” Smith’s “This is Your Time,” D.C. Talk’s “Red Letters,” and the Newsboys “Beautiful Sound.”  All the tunes are at least 12 months old, if not more, and in the case of the latter three artists, each has had more fresh singles off of newer albums released at some point during 2000!

Other oldies but goodies of the last few year’s are Audio Adrenaline’s “Hands and Feet,” Ginny Owens’ “Free,” Avalon’s “Always Have, Always Will,” and P.O.D.’s “Set Your Eyes to Zion.”  A bit newer are Plus One’s “Written on My Heart,” Mark Schultz’s “I Am the Way,” and Mary Mary’s “Shackles,” although all three hits have run their course and each artist has more current singles out on the airwaves.

The album does try to look ahead to the New Year’s trends, such as the teen pop sounds of Stacie Orrico, who lends “Don’t Look at Me” to the project, and Rachael Lampa, who shines on “Live For You.”  Plus, the latest offerings from Jaci Velasquez, Third Day, and Rebecca St. James are included, which are destined to make a big splash in 2001.

Although a wonderfully diverse lineup featuring a whole boatload of catchy, spiritually uplifting songs, let the record show that this project should be called “Wow: 1999 and 2000 Highlights.”

Andy Argyrakis 1/7/2001



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