Paul Baloche, The Same Love
Paul Baloche is among many worship writers who continue to remain anonymous while their songs take on a life all their own. With such well-known songs as “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “Above All,” “Hosanna” and “Your Name,” among countless others, Baloche continues to make timeless contributions to the Church canon, making him one of the most well-represented writers on the CCLI charts. His songs have been recorded by everyone from Michael W. Smith and Casting Crowns to Philips, Craig & Dean and Matt Redman.
However, with his latest project, The Same Love – his 12th recording – the long-respected songwriter and worship leader opens the door to radio success, as his vocals and artistic music bed channel MercyMe’s Bart Millard one minute and Robbie Seay the next. Co-produced with longtime collaborators Ben Gowell and Michael Rossback, The Same Love finds Baloche in good company from front to back with a plethora of respected artists, songwriters and worship leaders represented on the album, including Ben Fielding, Jason Ingram, Kari Jobe, Kathryn Scott and All Sons & Daughters, among others.
The title track sets the tone musically and lyrically for the dozen tracks that follow. It’s a clarion reminder that the God of the Old and New Testament is the One who is still at work in the lives of His people today.
It’s evident Baloche draws inspiration from enduring classics that hold a place of honor in the Church’s body of work. He manages to breathe new life into these standards by providing modern arrangements for time-honored favorites and adding new verses that give old hymns fresh meaning.
“All Because of the Cross” draws from lyrics culled from “Nothing But the Blood,” while “Oh Our Lord,” sung with the beautiful worship duo All Sons and Daughters, borrows lyrics from “How Majestic Is Your Name” in a musical setting reminiscent of folk band Seryn. Baloche revises “The Solid Rock” on “My Hope” in a poignant way, while keeping the tested lyrics: “My hope is built on nothing less, than Your great love, Your righteousness.”
If lyrics aren’t carved from ancient hymns, they are plucked from the depths of Scripture to form original tracks that will undoubtedly become future worship classics sung right alongside songs from other modern-day hymn writers like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Hillsong United. It’s obvious Baloche draws his inspiration from the Word and writes songs with the Church in mind. The poetically simple “Your Blood Ran Down” is a reverent highlight. “Look Upon the Lord” is another noteworthy track, thanks to the lovely addition of Kari Jobe’s lilting voice.
The lyrics may be timeless in nature, but this collection boasts some of the most musically progressive work of Baloche’s career. With The Same Love, he has fashioned an album that showcases old truths in a new light and has made the gospel relevant to a whole new generation.
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