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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Our God Saves

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Sep
Our God Saves
Sounds like … Brian Doerksen, Matt Redman, Brenton Brown, Chris Tomlin, and other pop/rock styled greats of the modern worship canon.At a glance … Our God Saves could well be Paul Baloche's finest performance-oriented worship recording, but the songs themselves aren't as memorable as his best work.Track Listing Our God Saves
The Kingdom of God
Rock of Ages (You Will Stand)
Beyond Us (feat. Kathryn Scott)
Hallelujah to My King (feat. Brenton Brown)
I Cling to the Cross (feat. Matt Redman)
You Gave Your Life Away
The Way
God Most High (feat. Glenn Packiam)
How Great Thou Art
Great Redeemer
Your Love Came Down

Worship leader Paul Baloche isn't one to get caught up in the celebrity trappings of more CCM-based worship artists, though he has every reason to after composing some of modern and contemporary worship's most beloved anthems, like "Open the Eyes of My Heart," "Above All," and "All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises." But these songs were written for the church, not radio, and that may explain why people are more likely to recognize the melodies than their author.

Worship-music diehards are a different story, recognizing that Baloche is a songwriting machine and a true musical resource for the church. That was certainly the case with Baloche's fifth album A Greater Song, considered by many to be his finest album to date. For that reason, Our God Saves comes with high anticipation, begging the question, "Does it measure up to A Greater Song?" Said differently, "Is it just as accessible for congregations?" Well, yes and no.

Sonically, Our God Saves is every bit as current and rocking as Song was, sharing a louder, stadium-rock quality that was absent from Baloche's earlier, inspo-safe offerings. The electric guitars are high in the mix, the drumming is fierce, and the wall of sound is impenetrable. It's a series of powerhouse anthems, from the soaring title track and the modern-rock dynamics of "The Kingdom of God," to the tender "You Gave Your Life Away" and the swaying "Beyond Us" (a lovely duet with fellow worship leader Kathryn Scott).

The album is spotlessly performed and produced, written in community alongside some of the genre's best—Scott, Brenton Brown, Matt Redman, Glenn Packiam—all of whom have a turn at the microphone here. Yet the songs themselves generally seem to lack a certain something that makes them as instantly memorable as Baloche's best work, including the "greater" songs of his previous album. Time will tell if Our God Saves will truly become a valuable worship resource for the church. But from a concert standpoint, it's undeniably an impressive live worship experience.

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