Paul Baloche

Our God Saves

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Our God Saves presented Paul Baloche with a huge challenge: how to live up to the rock-solid precedent set by 2006's A Greater Song, his best album to date. That album revolutionized the already hefty Baloche songbook in that it contemporized the worship veteran's approach to praise music, distancing it from the inspo-leaning offerings of colleagues Don Moen, Lenny LeBlanc, and Paul Wilbur, to a more modern sound akin to Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Lincoln Brewster. You could say one of the precursors of modern worship finally went modern worship. In the same spirit, Our God Saves takes everything that worked about A Greater Song and intensifies it threefold -- it rocks harder and is more anthemic than anything Baloche has recorded before. It only helps that the worship leader has once again called on the likes of Redman, Brenton Brown, Kathryn Scott, and Glenn Packiam for songwriting assists -- they're the secret weapon to Baloche's fierce makeover. Some of them even have guest turns on the album, adding to a live bill that's already a modern worshipper's delight no matter how you look at it. And maybe that's exactly why Our God Saves appears to be missing something: it's such an ambitious mise en scéne that it almost feels like a worship production, not a collection of songs for the church from the beloved worship leader. There's still plenty of material here to be implemented by local congregations -- Baloche is, after all, one of the most consistent and trusted tunesmiths in praise & worship -- but something about the grandness of Our God Saves is bound to leave some of the more stripped-down Sunday morning guitar types out in the cold. Make no mistake: What's here is really good by Baloche standards, but too much of a good thing, even in worship music, can be too much.

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