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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Mighty Long Way

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Apr
Mighty Long Way
Sounds like … Donnie McClurkin, Kurt Carr, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and other forbearers of choir-based praise and worship.At a glance … Mighty Long Way is Sunday morning worship at its best, a near-perfect collection of gospel, choir-based anthems for and by the church.Track Listing

Disc One:

Opening Prayer
Enter In
Have Your Way
Let Everything that Hath Breath
Shake the Foundation
We've Come to Praise Him
Hallelujah Anyhow
Glad About It
Offering of Praise
I Will Bless the Lord at All Times
Stir up the Gift
So Good

Disc Two:

Mighty Long Way
Mighty Long Way (Reprise)
I Still Have the Joy
While You Wait
Speak Life
It's Not Over
The Worship Medley
Hold On
High and Lifted Up

Even after a decade in music ministry, Joe Pace remains one of the most underrated figures in gospel music. Not that he minds: As the founder of the Colorado Mass Choir and the architect of a string of corporate worship projects—including the influential Glad About It, Shake the Foundation, and Speak Life—he's more about working for the church, whether that includes penning congregational favorites or teaching seminars on worship music.

This passion for local adoration couldn't be more evident in Mighty Long Way, his fifth album for Integrity Gospel. Recorded live at Living Word Community Church in Nashville, this double-disc set is a greatest-hits project of sorts, rounding up some of Pace's most beloved classics from over the years the way he likes it best: accompanied by lots of friends, an assortment of choirs, and almost 90 minutes of uninterrupted celebration of God's goodness.

But the fact that Mighty Long Way–which is also available as a DVD—is this grand and ambitious is never a detriment. In fact, Pace and his cohorts are nearly invisible during this seamless worship extravaganza, which, as soon as the call to worship is offered (the ominous "Enter In"), doesn't let up until well into the second disc. For a good hour, it's all about the praise, with Pace as a meticulous master of ceremonies and everyone else—singers, choral ensembles, and a sensational house band—following his lead in unison.

Once the album settles into a more reverent mood, the service doesn't lose any of its spark. The soulful, reflective title track does a good job of ushering worshippers into a more inspirational atmosphere, flanked by the traditional "I Still Have the Joy" and the uplifting "While You Wait." By the time the climactic "Worship Medley" comes on, Mighty Long Way is already a triumph, an exceptional glimpse into the worshipping heart of Joe Pace.

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