Reviewed by Rob Birtley
David Baloche, a New York City-based artist and high school teacher, is the son of Dove Award winning worship leader and songwriter Paul Baloche. David as well as singing plays piano, acoustic guitar, clarinet, trumpet and virtually all of the instrumentation on this album. Now comes the hard part, to describe the album's style. 'Labyrinth' is the first volume in a series that offers unique musical meditations using various translations of the Holy Bible, with this project focusing on Scriptures that address anxiety and stress. The music fuses New Age themes with traditional acoustic meditational melodies to almost hypnotically bypass your all too busy conscious mind, taking a devotional message deep into your inner being. Every part of this release is aimed squarely in creating that area of inner peace, the place where you can truly listen. To quote the artist, "The 'Labyrinth' project isn't an escape; it's an encounter. . . with one's self and with God." The music creates that sheltered, quiet place and the texts from Scripture produce the contents of the conversation. The album starts off with "He Hears My Voice" (Psalm 55:16-17 NLT). In many ways, it's the perfect start to any conversation with a human or the divine and sums up "I am here Lord, I am calling out to you and I am listening." The strings-based melody with the piano counterpoint produces the ideal frame to hang the central message on which this contemplation is based. "Nothing Can Separate" uses the New Testament text (Romans 8:38 NLT) as its central pillar, the lesson of God's all-consuming and all-conquering love and how we are truly never alone being infused in the rhythmic calm and mesmerizing clarity of the music. Like every track on this album the balance of precious texts of Scripture set to dazzling, sweeping melodies against the background of luxurious sonic textures produce an "eye" of calm in the storm of modern life - a moment when that gentle voice may be heard. "The Peace Of God" (Phil 4:7, Prov 3:5 NIV, Prov 3:3:6 ESV, NLT) crowns the central message with a building strings backdrop blossoming into a classical pastoral theme. Final track "My Help Comes From The Lord" (Isa 41:10, Psalm 121:1-2NIV) is a sensitive rendering with vocal harmonies balanced by restrained acoustic guitar with a flavour of a number of Beatles tracks in its construction, ending the album beautifully. The final question comes to mind - just when would you choose to listen to this album? Well, I can think of a number of times. The first and most obvious is when you've had one of those days when you feel battered and bruised by life's storms and need to regain some of your inner peace. But also, and just as useful, when you are struggling to open the conversation with the Lord as its meditation forms a valuable starting point. This is not a release to feed the fire of your soul but it is food for the soul in its purest form nonetheless.
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|Labyrinth is a contemplative, scripture-based debut from 21st century psalmist David Baloche, son of award winning worship leader-songwriter Paul Baloche, the albums executive producer.|
Labyrinth is the first volume in a series that offers unique musical meditations using various translations from the Bible, with this first project focusing on scriptures that address anxiety and stress. Tracks include He Hears My Voice (Psalm 55:16-17 NLT), Nothing Can Separate (Romans 8:38 NLT) and Those Who Hope (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). A new way to experience scripture, Labyrinth is an ideal soundscape for use during times of personal and corporate prayer and meditation with scripture sung by David Baloche who also plays piano, acoustic guitar, clarinet and trumpet on the album.
The Labyrinth project isn't an escape; it's an encounter with one's self and with God, says David Baloche, a New York City-based artist and teacher. It is a sonic labyrinth, a song experience to prepare for scripture and worship, as if to say, pay attention, we're headed for something deeper.
Labyrinth is an ideal tool for your personal quiet time and reflection.
He Hears My Voice
Nothing Can Separate
Come to Me
Those Who Hope
Lead Me to the Rock
Groanings Too Deep for Words
As a Father Carries His Son
The Peace of God
My Help Comes From the Lord