Ayiesha Woods’ debut album, Introducing Ayiesha Woods, is now available locally at all House of Praise outlets nationwide.

If you’d like to start your year off with a bang, I suggest you pick up a copy of this clever opus and enjoy the brilliance that emanates from Ayiesha Woods.

The Gotee recording artist’s international major-label debut does not disappoint at all. It is nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary/Gospel album (going up against Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Third Day, and fellow debut artist Leeland), which, by my standards, only underlines the quality that comes with this album.

Woods is a truly soulful singer whose album captures essences of pop, alternative rock, hiphop, even reggae/dancefloor. On this album, she works with Chris Stevens (Toby Mac, Shawn McDonald, Paul Wright), Otto Price and Ric Robbins (Out of Eden, Grits), and David Mullen (Nicole C. Mullen, Anointed); the latter penned Happy, my #1 single of 2006.

Woods’ vocals revolve around a textured, gritty voice that can adapt to soul, pop, and reggae flavorings. She may not have much range, but her rich vocal and passionate delivery certainly make up for it (glad to see that the ‘black Christian diva’ is not at work here).

Aside from Happy, do try the folksy The Remedy, the driven Big Enough, toe-tapper Days and my personal favorite, Crazy, the dancefloor Caribbean stunner that could get as much airplay on secular stations, were it not for the openly Christian lyrics.

Woods’ album resonates around the themes of redemption, finding God’s love, and living the life. I strongly encourage you to give it a listen (it’s a free listen at House of Praise!), and test me in this, see if this album will not grab you by the collar and refuse to let go. One of my current albums on constant replay, and undoubtedly one destined to become a classic in my collection.