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He Is Exalted: Live Worship

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Aug
He Is Exalted: Live Worship
Sounds like … the contemporary live worship style forged by Kim Hill and Women of Faith, with strong choral participation similar to Hillsong and Travis Cottrell.At a glance … though at times it feels too much like a Twila Paris concert, He Is Exalted succeeds at placing the celebrated singer/songwriter in a corporate worship context.Track ListingLifted HigherHe Is ExaltedHosannaAll Things Work (Introduction)All Things Work TogetherGod Is in ControlMessiah"Let Your Kingdom Come" PrayerWe All Bow DownDays of ElijahEnter InHolyWe Have Seen Your Glory (John 1)Hold Me Close

Twila Paris is no stranger to church music, having composed her share of choruses and modern hymns in her storied 20-plus-year career in Christian music. Neither is she new to the now-ubiquitous worship "scene," boasting a track record and repertoire that—though not necessarily "worship" in its entirety—far outlives most of today's hyperactive worship hopefuls. After her tenure with Sparrow Records and a brief hiatus, it only makes sense that the singer has partnered with church music pioneer Integrity Music for her first live worship album, He Is Exalted: Live Worship.

In more ways that one, it feels like she's coming full-circle here. Similar to when Michael W. Smith recorded his hugely popular Worship albums, Paris sounds comfortable leading her audience in congregational singing, as if she was meant to do this all along. Like Smith, the production, too, is quite large and upbeat from the get-go, though it's never grand and overly dramatic. There is, however, plenty of big drums, a pristine pop/rock foundation, and a vociferous choir roaring their way through the set, which is comprised of eight new Paris originals, covers of "We All Bow Down" and "Days of Elijah," and brimming reinterpretations of Paris classics "He Is Exalted" and "God Is In Control."

Interestingly, she is good at funneling the songs and presenting them as if this were a true church service, from driving opener "Lifted Higher" to the richly arranged "Messiah" and the reverent "Holy." These instances make you forget the fact that He Is Exalted at times sounds more like a Twila Paris concert—particularly during the hits and the moments when it's just her and her piano—than a corporate worship affair. That and the more routine tracks toward the end are the only qualms with a project that still finds Paris in fine form.

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