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A Greater Song

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Apr
A Greater Song
Sounds like … Brian Doerksen, Chris Tomlin, Brenton Brown, Matt Redman, and other pioneering songwriters from the modern worship movement. At a glance … co-writes with several noted songwriters allow Paul Baloche to finally strike the perfect balance between modern and contemporary worship stylesTrack Listing Hosanna Because of Your Love A Greater Song I Will Boast Your Name What Can I Do You Have Been So Good Thank You Lord Creation's King Here and Now Just As I Am Rising

Worship songwriter Paul Baloche is one of those artists who should not need an introduction. Responsible for such modern church standards as "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and "Above All," Baloche writes with congregations in mind, not radio. Yet for whatever reason, few know him by name, and that may unfortunately continue despite the strength of his latest album, A Greater Song.

Recorded live at his home church, this project is much better than the average worship effort—and not your typical Baloche recording. Though prolific at writing songs single-handedly, A Greater Song finds Baloche collaborating with an array of noted worship songwriters, many of them respected penmen in their own right. People like Matt Redman, Brenton Brown, Graham Kendrick, and Sara Groves all teamed up with Baloche to compose songs that the worshiping church will use, a communal affair that's large on melody and congregational value.

Universality isn't this collection's only asset. Here Baloche breaks free of the safe, inspo-contemporary mold of his earlier ventures and sets foot in modern worship territory, evidenced in the stronger pop/rock motifs and aggressive rhythmic patterns. The driving anthem "Hosanna," for example, sounds like a stadium-sized U2 leftover, a stirring call to worship in the vein of "Come Now Is the Time to Worship" or Baloche's own "Open the Eyes of My Heart." From there on out, the set alternates between high energy ("Because of Your Love," "I Will Boast") and reverential tone, particularly during spot-on duets with Kathryn Scott ("Your Name," "Here and Now") and Groves ("You Have Been So Good").

Though A Greater Song is unlikely to make Baloche a household name, it will at least, more importantly, provide the church more reasons to keep singing his praises to the Lord.

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