Canadian native Larmond—a recent winner of Canada's Urban Music Awards for best gospel recording—delivers a much-anticipated debut that more than exceeds expectations.

Canadian native Larmond—a recent winner of Canada's Urban Music Awards for best gospel recording—delivers a much-anticipated debut that more than exceeds expectations. With her solo career jump-started earlier this year by the inclusion of her smooth funk single "Once" on the hit anthology WOW Gospel 2001, Larmond rises to the challenge of proving herself an artist of both depth and range. Steered by an array of big-name, hit-making producers, Larmond scores one bulls-eye after another. "Hold On" is a big, gorgeous pop ballad."Ascension" is an irresistible urban workout, while the acoustic guitar and percussion-driven "Help Him Stand" is an inspiring step beyond more conventional gospel/R&B structure. This is an impressive offering from an artist with the goods to be vital for a long time to come.—GE