When you look up the word 'complete' in the dictionary several definitions are given. Words and phrases such as 'lacking nothing,' consummate, unbroken, absolute, and perfected are all synonyms for 'complete' - and not surprisingly we use the very same words to describe God -We know He is most certainly a complete, a total, an absolute and a perfect God. And He is the God that LaShun Pace sings about.
Pace has found her strength in that complete God - the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace that keeps her mind, spirit and faith intact. She knows loss and she knows brokenness but the remarkable part about her testimony is that she also knows the Lord and knows there is only completion in Him. Pace takes all that emotion and lessons learned and brings them to the forefront on her new album, so aptly titled COMPLETE. From the pain of losing a daughter to suffering through broken marriages to life threatening illness, Pace finds her strength from God. She has come through it all with a renewed sense of purpose and knowledge of His absolute greatness that this album is basically a manifestation of her testimony.
COMPLETE was recorded live in Pace's hometown, Atlanta GA, at her church Wings of Faith, where the pastor is Bishop Dreyfus C. Smith. With almost total creative control over the album's direction and the opportunity to produce, Pace was thrilled at the outset of this recording but the road wasn't as easy as she thought it would be. Pace was hospitalized on the Thursday before the recording with heart problems and was literally in the ICU the day before the recording. "I had to leave the hospital ... I told my assistant that I was going to bust out of the hospital," recalled Pace laughingly. "Really, I felt like my label put this in my hands and I had to do it ... I literally left the hospital and went straight to the church. The place was jam-packed ... and what you hear on this album was solely the Anointing ... I had no natural strength ... It was the Holy Ghost who touched my body that night."
"When people listen to the album I want them to know that I am a person who has dealt with so many negative things and through my story I want them to see the strength of God...to know if He can touch and strengthen me ... He can also be a strengthening power for them," Pace said.
COMPLETE takes off in high church with the lead song "All Things Working." Based on the well-known scripture, Romans 8:28 the radio friendly single, is a classic toe-tapping, jump-out-of-your-seat praise jam. Pace vibrantly pushes her way through this high-energy signature gospel celebration.
Encapsulating Pace's message is the soulful and passionate "Complete In Jesus." Hearing in Pace's own voice, a story that women everywhere can relate to, she reminds us that we should only trust in Him and only when we give Him our lives can we be complete. Vocally, Pace shines and when she belts out "let Him make you complete and you will be singing like I am ..." you can only hope to have the brightness and power she gives on this song.
"All the songs are birthed out of my prayer time," explained Pace. "When I wake up in the middle of the night, I just start praying and talking to God ... the song just came to me. The melody was in my head and I heard it the phrase - I am complete over and over ... He gave me all the lyrics that night."
Perhaps the most utterly painful and yet uplifting and inspiring moment on the project is "Xenia's Flight." Dedicated to her daughter who passed away in 2001, Pace is brutally transparent on this song, as she shares her riveting testimony that ministers to herself, to the live audience that night and to all the listeners of COMPLETE.
She speaks of her two divorces, her daughter's unexpected death, and the difficult relationships in her life. "I was alone in my hospital room and this song came in the belly of my soul," said Pace. "I just started singing 'I will trust in the Lord' and then when I got to the verse that says 'until I die' ... a new verse came to me ... the Holy Ghost had my tongue and gave me 'at all times.' I feel like He is yet carrying me through."
"I want the listeners to feel my pain in each song ... in detail. People will know I've been through some things ... but God. I want them to hear that they can be complete with God ... I am complete now ... I've survived. With troubles, without troubles ... with a man, without a man ... the only person that can complete you is God."
"The Blood Completes It All" a bluesy track that ties-in the theme of completion with the essential message of the Lord's sacrifice - a soul-stirring reminder that it was His blood shed at Calvary that paid the price for us all.
Steeply rooted in the sounds of church, Pace also gives us the "Old Fashioned Church Medley," that is chock full of time-honored hymns including 'Solider In The Army Of The Lord,' 'Run On' 'Let God Arise,' and more. It is praise and worship like it used to be - where the rhythm and hand-claps are the only necessary instrumentation and it takes the listener straight into a jamboree of high praise and shouting.
"This is God's music," explained Pace. "And the traditional sound is still important and around today because it is our strong foundation ... It is what builds us up and holds us up ... the hymns ... it is what Gospel music was built on."
COMPLETE is Pace's seventh album - perhaps the perfect number for this album which as her lead single suggests 'all things are really working together.' "I sing so hard because I've been through too much ... it is in me and He brought me out and now I have to sing about," Pace said. Indeed it is Pace's emotional delivery, uplifting testimonies and heartfelt praise that makes COMPLETE significant.