Paul Baloche - Christmas Worship Vol 2

Published Friday 25th December 2015
Paul Baloche - Christmas Worship Vol 2
Paul Baloche - Christmas Worship Vol 2

STYLE: Pop
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 156277-23547
LABEL: Integrity 0000768647028
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RELEASE DATE: 2015-10-02
RRP: £13.00


Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Every year Cross Rhythms' programme controller Chris asks me to name my favourite Christmas track of 2015. I get to (probably) hear more singles, EPs and albums made by Christians than anybody else in Britain. They obviously come in a wide variety of styles - from schmaltzy MOR to brutal hardcore, from knee-slapping bluegrass to cathedral choirs (well, actually, I don't get to hear many of those, CR has a classical/choral reviewer who does them). But everything else is grist to the Cummings review mill. So I'm amazed that I found myself suggesting that an album crammed full of over-recorded carols should be the Christmas release of the year as far as I am concerned. And let's face it, "Joy To The World", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", "Angels From The Realms Of Glory", "Silent Night" (and more) have been recorded way too many times. What Paul has done with such carols, on this and the previous volume, is however nothing short of inspired. He has written additional bits to them or, as in the case of "For Unto Us A Child Is Born", turned it into a medley so that the carol evergreen is fused with the worship veteran's best known song, "Open The Eyes Of My Heart". The reasoning behind this daring reworking of the carols is impressive. He said in an interview, "There is so much content and beauty and theology in a song like 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' and 'What Child Is This?' but most of these traditional carols are not vertical in nature; not speaking to the Lord. 'O Holy Night' is a perfect example. At the climax, we're singing, hands raised, to a thing, "O night divine". By adding a simple chorus at the end, a response to the beauty of the lyric, melody and the nostalgia of these beautiful carols and then seguing into a first-person response in keeping with the Advent season, it's amazing the shift in perspective." Amazing indeed. Co-producing the album with Baloche is Michael Rossback (The Brilliance, Desperation Band) while bringing in top quality guests like Lenny LeBlanc, Kathryn Scott and All Sons & Daughters adds further to the worshipful atmosphere. Then, the last track brings in a final very special guest when Madison Cunningham sings the hauntingly beautiful "When Love Crossed Over" giving Madison her first major Christian label exposure. Regular visitors to Cornwall's Creation Fest will already know that California-based Madison is a singer deserving of international recognition with her work with her father's Scott Cunningham Band being nothing short of sublime. Here's hoping "When Love Crossed Over" is a stepping stone to bigger things. In the meantime, she and worship song master Baloche should be congratulated in creating, what is to my ears, the best Christmas song of the year.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Joy To The World-Our God Saves Ftg All Sons & Daughters [Listen]
2. For Unto Us A Child Is Born-Open The Eyes Of My Heart [Listen]
3. Angels From The Realms Of Glory-Emmanuel [Listen]
4. O Holy Night-Love Shines Bright Ftg Kathryn Scott [Listen]
5. Gloria [Listen]
6. What Child Is This-Praise Emmanuel [Listen]
7. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear-Glorious Ftg Onaje Jefferson [Listen]
8. Newborn King [Listen]
9. The First Noel-Above All Ftg Lenny LeBlanc [Listen]
10. Silent Night [Listen]
11. Silent Night (Guitar Reprise) [Listen]
12. When Love Crossed Over Ftg Madison Cunningham [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
Set for release in October 2nd, Christmas Worship Vol. 2 re-imagines the classic carols of Christmas for the seasonís Sunday morning set. Featuring unforgettable classics seamlessly married with vertical worship lyrics, this collection embodies Balocheís 30-year mission in ministry, to equip worshipers and worship leaders with songs and resources that help them express glory to God.

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