Paul Baloche has been leading Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas, in worship for more than 16 years. Up to the present time, Baloche has composed the majority of his works as a solo artist. But now he has teamed up with some of the most motivating worship leaders of this age to create an album that illuminates the importance of friendship and collaboration "for the Kingdom of God." His newest album, entitled A Greater Song, features a combination of songs that will pave the way for worship services in the years to come.
Signed with Integrity Music (Lincoln Brewster, Michael Gungor, and Eoghan Heaslip), Baloche has written many top CCLI songs such as "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and "Above All," church favorites of today. Turning heads with his Dove award nominations, Baloche is an artist who has been leading multitudes in worship for years and whose songs have been recorded by none other than Michael W. Smith, Sonicflood, and Randy Travis. The album transpired after a retreat with Graham Kendrick and others where they worshipped God and worship came out of worship. The album was recorded live at Baloches' home church where he claims his church family belts out the praises and enjoys nothing more than truly worshipping the Lord.
A Greater Song begins with "Hosanna," which along with "Because of Your Love" and "Here and Now," were co-written by Baloche and Brenton Brown. "Hosanna" has hit airwaves like a flood and is reaching out to be heard. "Just As I Am" features Northern Ireland's very own Kathryn Scott in Baloches' arrangement of this classic. Her beautiful voice is also featured in the duets in "Here and Now" and "Your Name," both slow melodic piano/acoustic songs full of peace that make you want to lift your hands in surrender. The harmony between Baloche's and Scott's voices, along with the multitude in the background, proves that these songs are from God.
Baloche and Graham Kendrick also co-wrote two of the album's most lyrically pleasing and upbeat songs, "What Can I Do" and "Creation's King." "What Can I Do" is the first song on the album that caught my attention with its graceful piano melody and lyrics like: "What can I do but thank You, what can I do but give my love to You, halleluiah halleluiah, what can I do but praise You every day with everything I do, halleluiah halleluiah halleluiah." "Creation's King" has a little more twist of rock worship than the rest of the album. The lyrics and song-structure can be simple at times, but so can worship. The title track "A Greater Song" and the closing cut "Rising" were co-written by Baloche and Matt Redman. Sara Groves, Graham Kendrick, Glenn Packiam, and Don Moen also made contributions to this concoction of inspiring worship.
Baloche claims, "We need each other. We need to worship. The essence of life is a relationship with God and a relationship with others. We have to find ways to intentionally pursue Him. I think writing songs, getting together and trying to be creative with God's Word; to sing out your prayers spontaneously is a great spiritual exercise. As a byproduct of that experience, sometimes a good song comes out and that's always a bonus."
God calls us to worship Him, and Baloches' A Greater Song features an array of songs that will help you find that greater song which you are to devote to the One who deserves it. If you enjoy Baloches' past albums and worship leaders like Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Chris Tomlin, etc, then you should definitely look into A Greater Song; although you'll probably start learning the songs on this album at your church in a short time anyway.- Review date: 7/9/06, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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