"I just want to get back to a one on one relationship with God, and live with the anticipation of God's blessing on my life."
--Code of Ethics' Barry Blaze

by Mark Smeby for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com

Barry Blaze decided it was time to record an album that he needed to hear.

Sure, his band {{Code of Ethics}} already had four albums under their musical belt, and numerous radio hits, but it was time for a change. A change that was even bigger than leaving a label, a manager, or a booking agent, although each had happened. This time the change was in the heart.

Blaze says that this brand new album came out of a place inside himself that so desperately needed to connect with God. He had been through an extremely difficult time in his life, which made him lean on God, especially when it came to what he would do with his music. It has lead him to a place of surrender, where Blaze now knows that God is the one in charge.

"No matter how big or small I try to make my career, it's God's thing. If it's not His will, it can fall apart, and that will not matter," Blaze admits.

This heart-wrenching process has birthed ==Blaze==, a fiery, energetic, keyboard-intensive praise and worship album. Some may consider this electronica, others may call it dance/pop. But there's no denying that ==Blaze== is pure praise and worship.

Because this project has come from a new place of surrender and gratefulness to God for his peace, it led Blaze to praise.

"I thought if this is the last album that I do ever do, I want to do a praise & worship style so I can really get something out of it. I looked at it like it could be the beginning of a new journey."

He says he started with the song "I Love You Lord," and discovered how short the song really was, so he had to write a new part, "Here's My Heart," to tag onto the familiar chorus.

"I thought that I'd love to take ten cool praise and worship songs and just remake them. Then the more I started writing music to the traditional songs found I could stick my own lyrics to them, to where most of it is now original."

Two songs, "Pure and Holy" and "Psalm 19" were brought to Blaze by a friend who heard them done by a popular Australian group, The Parachute Band, who themselves are set to release a record stateside this year.

Blaze says that for the past four or five years, the band's concerts have been evangelistic in nature with nine out of ten usually having altar calls.

"I believe that praise and worship is more for the church itself. So my focus will actually be less evangelistic and more focused on the church and the young people. So I'm really spending some time now focusing on what the needs are of the church."

"I know for a fact that kids are looking for true hope to hold onto, that's where I think the whole praise and worship experience will come in."

Not wanting to jump on the praise and worship "bandwagon," if there is one right now, Blaze maintains that his music is strictly "Code-style."

"I didn't have praise and worship growing up, so I'm very excited about what's going on in this movement now, and hope my music will draw in a whole new crowd of young people to experience it."

At the same time, Blaze is quick to admit, this latest {{Code of Ethics}} project is really mainly for himself.

"I want the praise and worship focus to start with me. Sometimes you feel a little disconnected doing the same thing year after yeareven though you know you're doing ministry and you know it's right," Blaze confesses. "I just want to get back to a one on one relationship with God, and live with the anticipation of God's blessing on my life."