Various Artists

Praise in His Presence Live

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Recorded live in February 2002 at Nashville's Mt. Zion Baptist Church, this is pure soul-gospel joy that can be summed up in the simple but powerful declaration of "I Love to Praise Him," which blends the church's huge choir with the intense, sometimes manic lead vocal of guest artist Marvin Sapp. Most of the songs are familiar to the gospel catalog, and the handful of mainstream modern praise & worship songs ("Lord I Lift Your Name on High") are given feisty, spruced-up treatments. Not every tune works quite as well. The reggae-tinged "In His Presence" has a singsongy quality that gets old quickly, and "That's What Jesus Is to Me" lies a bit flat surrounded by the general energy of the disc. The handful of sermon-like song introductions probably worked better in person than between the songs on disc. These minor inconveniences aside, this is a quintessential modern live worship experience and a true credit to its genre.

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