Various Artists - Island Inspirational (Island Black Music) Long gone are the days when the only fans of gospel music were Christians. Artists such as Whitney Houston, Kirk Franklin and Sounds of Blackness have taken the musical form to legions of new fans. And Island Inspirational is likely to continue this trend. A compilation designed to promote Island Black Music's gospel artists, the album combines hip-hop, soul and traditional gospel in a manner that is bound to have you declaring 'Amen'. Especially the opening track God First by J. Moss. The uplifting, funky track sounds like something you would hear in an urban nightclub, with a striking Montell Jordan feel about it. Don't Give Up by the Island Inspirational All Stars and featuring gospel luminary Hezekiah Walker is equally inspiring. Recalling the classic feel-good track Optimistic by Sounds of Blackness, the song is invigorating in its keep-your-head-up message. The remaining tracks are far less foot-stomping, yet no less uplifting. Particularly soothing is the exquisite vocal range of Karen Clark-Sheard on Jesus Is A Love Song and Pure Gold. Another equally powerful vocalist featured is Kelly Price, best known for her soul backing vocals on rap tracks by Puff Daddy and rapper Notorious BIG. The highlight however is the inimitable Shirley Murdock on The Lady, Her Lover And Lord, whose silky smooth voice is a delight to listen to. This album may not be secular, but as long as you are a soul fan, Island Inspirational is pleasantly soul-soothing.