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CeCe Winans Presents: Pure Worship

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Oct
CeCe Winans Presents: Pure Worship
Sounds like … CeCe Winans and friends having a time of worship that spans several styles, including contemporary gospel, pop, Latin, modern worship, and any combination thereofAt a glance … At a glance: anchored in a solid gospel-pop base, Pure Worship is an extremely effective demonstration of how to do blended worship rightTrack Listing Instruments of Praise I Do Worship I Love You More Unrestrained A Little More I Am Yours All About You Faithful Take My Life (Holiness) I Will Agnus Dei How Great Is Our God/How Great Thou Art Holy, Holy, Holy Nobody But You

When CeCe Winans isn't riding high on the charts or commanding attention via high-profile media appearances, she's a worshipper. Matter of fact, one could make the case that she left behind her platinum-selling BeBe & CeCe gig so she could do more worship music—all of her subsequent solo albums, without exception, shed light on her heart for adoration.

CeCe Winans Presents: Pure Worship is an extension of Winans' love of church music, but she's not the lead worshipper here. Instead, she called on worship leaders and music ministers from all traditions across the country to submit original songs of praise, the best of which would be compiled on a live recording hosted by the award-winning songstress.

There's no word on how the search went or how many songs Winans and her team had to whittle down, but if the set list in Pure Worship is any indication, the singer made sure that no particular style was represented more than the others. Pure Worship, at its very basic, is a joyous blended worship feast—featuring a knockout gospel-pop band and choir, integrated seamlessly from start to finish.

After a reverent choral introit, Pure Worship immediately kicks things into motion with "I Do Worship," a high-powered pop/rock anthem in the vein of Chris Tomlin's "Forever." As with that song, this call to worship gets repetitive in no time, but no one seems to care: both singers and congregation seem to be having the time of their life.

From there, Winans and friends move through a repertoire that spans Latin/gospel ("I Love You More"), soaring gospel-pop ("Unrestrained"), acoustic pop/rock ("I Am Yours"), calypso-flavored praise ("All About You"), and even one or two performance-based pieces ("A Little More," "Faithful"). Even Coldplay-styled Brit pop? Yep, it's here too in the form of "I Will."

By the time the worshippers enter the inner courts of the sanctuary with covers of tried-and-true favorites like Tomlin's "How Great Is Our God" and Michael W. Smith's "Agnus Dei," Pure Worship has asserted itself as one of the most balanced blended worship live recordings in recent memory, offering a vast array of new songs that churches of all walks can adopt into their weekly services.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.