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Paul Baloche “The Same Love”

Paul Baloche’s New album “The Same Love” Releases next Tues amongst lofty acclaim and in my opinion some very baffling reviews. Yes the general consensus is that it is brilliant, but I have heard too many people state that Paul is intentionally trying to not sound like…Paul.

I am a huge fan of guys like Steven Curtis Chapman that year after year, decade after decade, can change their sound based on where we are sonically in the times. People who are always trying to push the limits.

“There are a lot of songs about the Cross on this record. People are almost apologetic about it, and yet I feel challenged not to shrink from it. Our tendency is to make our language inclusive and seeker friendly. And I get that, but we also need songs that point to the truth of the new covenant.” – Paul Baloche

Paul loves to push the boundaries lyrically. He has always veered towards making songs the church could use, keeping them in the current style, but not watering down the gospel.

The only issue I have seen though is his studio recordings never captured the brilliance and anointing that came from Paul Live. I have heard many times from friends who were not fans of the CD’s but then saw Paul live and were blown away. In the past I felt the same way. There was something about the production that gave us only a “piece of Paul”. We lost the “living room” atmosphere that Paul loves to speak on.

2 weeks ago I received “The Same Love” and I exhaled one word. “FINALLY”
This is the CD from Paul I have been waiting for. Arguably the most influential worship songwriter of our time will release next tues his best CD that he has ever recorded.

Paul is joined by co-writers like Jason Ingram, Ben Gowell, Ed Kerr, All Sons & Daugters, Brothers McClurg, Lincoln Brewster, Kari Jobe and more.  Paul is the master of the co-write with many of his greatest hits written with Brenton Brown and this album illustrates more of that gifting.

Songs like “Your Blood Ran down” bring us into deep communion with the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. It is gripping in it’s simplicity.

Of course the Title track is a knockout and a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

I used to go track by track, but honestly there is not a bad song on this CD.

I want to highlight a few more though.

“king of heaven”, co-written with Jason Ingram is earthy and almost reminiscent of a Gungor track. What’s not to like about Baloche and a banjo!

“Christ the Lord” will become the next great Easter song for the church.

“Oh Our Lord”, co-written with All Sons & Daughters is brilliant track lifting up the name of Jesus. “we reach for you;we cling to you Oh Lord”. I will be introducing this song very soon in my church.

Paul also covers “Just Say” which was Co-written with Bros. McClurg. I loved this song on their CD, but it is even better done by Paul.

Paul captures an intimate worship feel on many tracks and gives us the much sought after living room feel. There are many anthem songs on here as well that will make their way into church set list rotation everywhere soon.

Let me end with this: This is the Paul Baloche CD I have been waiting for. The Production is perfect and the writing is nothing less than remarkable.

If you are a Baloche fan you will love this album. If you are a worship leader you will spend many thoughts trying to decide if it’s ok to introduce all of these songs to your church next week. If you have never heard of Paul, GET WITH THE PROGRAM! If you have never been into Paul’s stuff keep in mind what I said above. This is the CD to listen to so jump in head first and worship along side one of the greatest.

Because This CD is so great I am going to be giving away 3 copies of the digital cd, digital experience, and physical CD.

I have added a widget below to make it simple.

YOU MUST COMMENT BELOW.. tell me the baloche song that has ministered to you most over the years.

Then click the green button in the widget. There are many chances to have entries in to the random drawing so click the green button and tweet, like, and subscribe to RSS for entries to win these.

The Deadline is Sat at Midnight… so spread the word and get on it!!! “YOU MUST HAVE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from Integrity Music to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Gungor has been ingrained in my world of music since the days of his collaborations with Israel Houghton. Back then we knew he was brilliant and had crazy guitar chops, but when “Beautiful Things” came out we found out he was a kindred spirit of the creatives.

Don’t shoot me for this if you loved that CD, but I was not in love with every song. I felt like Gungor as a band was on a journey. A path of finding their place musically, artistically and spiritually.

I did however love much of it which is why I was chomping at the bit to get a hold of “Ghosts upon Earth” which released a day or so ago.

WHAT IS GOING ON!! Seriously, what is happening to Christian music? Are we finally getting that it is about creating for our king and not creating for a fictitious person listening on the radio and buying CD’s? Praise God artists are still out there and willing to be creative for Christ. I have seen too many brilliant artists start on the journey only to be squashed and then create art for many other things besides God.

This is but a piece of Gungor’s journey, but it such an amazing CD. There are so many layers of creative genius and heartfelt worship. I am a sucker for haunting melodies and this CD does not disappoint.

I hate going song by song because honestly who really reads that any way.

This is not a corporate worship CD folks. It is worship 100% through and through though. The production is just perfect. It is simple and lets the gutsiness of the music come through. It reminds me so much of what was coming out in the 90’s like michael knott, adam again, lost dogs, and at the foot of the cross from the Choir.

In Psalms we have so many nuances of worship. There is joy, sorry, battle, silence, lament and more. Why do we choose to only worship God in our happiness? I think one thing that creative albums like this do for us is show that we can worship God with “Everything” we have and are. We don’t have to fabricate a “new” us to present to God.

In conclusion Gungor is just 1 of the many new artists out right now bringing creativity and artistry back into the church where it needs to be.

Buy this beautiful CD, let it soak in and pray that it spurs you to use your soul to create like God created you to.

Today Daniel Bashta’s new CD “the sounds of daniel bashta” came out. I first heard daniel a while back with his previous independent album and then later heard a lackluster cover from the crowder band of “Like a Lion”

I had the privilege of getting an advanced copy of this CD from my great friends at Integrity Music. Because this CD has been threatening to come out for a while now I think I have had it since Feb.

This is one of those CD’s that I think we can call a turning point in “corporate worship”. People like Misty Edwards and Jason Upton, who I love, have been around for a while now, but most of their music is not accessible for all many churches. Integrity has been launching amazing artists that are not only accessible, but are also out of the box and skilled with their craft. They are not just trying to churn out hits. They are trying to create a new sound of worship and I love that.

Bashta just reeks of the prophetic and grips the soul with lyrics like “I am the sound I am the voice…I am Jesus to this city!” It is not a CD with bubble gum lyrics. His words inspire and convict and most of all lift up Jesus.

I like to describe this CD as Jason Upton with ritalin or Red bull for the soul. There is such passion that rips through the songs that I am pretty sure they had to clean off the mic with a towel during recording.

I love a guy who sings with unbridled passion and conviction and Daniel does just that.

Because I have had this CD for a while now I have been able to incorporate some of the music. I have used “with everything”, “freedom is calling” and of course “Like a Lion”.

There is something so pure about “like a lion”. Something so breathtaking about its simplicity “My God’s not dead… He’s roaring like a lion”. The bridge is my favorite part because it says “let heaven roar” and just connects the revival with the church with the outpouring of the heavens.

“freedom is calling” is amazing and once again a call for the church to RISE. Then there is the song “the sound” with lyrics

“Hell can you hear me
Can you hear me
Are you listening

Darkness do you fear me
Do you fear me
Are you trembling”

WOW…seriously. not much needed to write about that one.

There is so much I can say about this CD and it’s lyrics. I am a huge Ihop fan and the prophetic movement, but it seems that that style of worship has not permeated the church as a whole. I think this CD and more coming out of integrity like John Mark McMillan, Brothers McClurg, and All sons and Daughters are breaking the mold and introducing the church to things we have lost. Depth, artistry, mystery, revival, warfare, and true passion.

Bravo Daniel for making one of the best CD so far this year! (a close second would be Owl City). Thank you for fueling the fire and giving the church sustainable red bull for the soul.



Disclosure of Material Connection: We received this CD free from the publisher to listen and post a review on our site. We were not required to write a positive review. The opinions we  have expressed are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < <> > “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I had the honor and privilege to receive a pre-release copy of “Sex, Lies & Religion” by Randy Elrod and I was able to read it in one day. The question you may ask yourself is “1 day?…must have been short”. It is not a long book at 166 pages, but it is a riveting book. I was not able to put it down.

A year ago I was able to meet Randy in person and talk with him. What I encountered was a man of integrity and transparency. A Godly man with a great marriage. This alone made me want to read whatever he put out.

This is a book that tries to debunk the old church rules about sex and nudity. It talks about the history of our creation and what we were created for. It delves into the connection between sexuality and spirituality starting first with nudity and sex onto our longing for God.

I am an artist and have drawn nudes and been around that culture a long time, but I am also aware of how much the nude body terrifies the main stream church. Randy talks about the lies that are out there and delves into teaching the reader how to achieve freedom from the way we have always been taught. There is a difference between “beauty” and Pornography” and Randy gives us a pretty great check list to determine that.

There is so much in this book to go over and re-read. I will be reading it for a second time next week and will probably need to blog again about it to really dig deeper.

A great quote from the book which really stood out to me was:

“Simply gather a handful of the succulent fruit described in this chapter and your mate will be literally eating out of your hand while racing you to the bedroom for an endless time of wild and abandoned lovemaking.”

Randy goes on to talk about the Fruit of the spirit and making that the most important Foreplay in a marriage. Something I am sure we all need a reminder of daily.

Last but not least it talks about communion and the sacraments. For the sake of a long post I won’t get into it, but let me tell you the connection he makes to the above is amazing.

Folks, this is a must read and maybe the top book I recommend this year. It’s not very often you will hear me say I need to read it again.

Do yourself a favor and order this book, but order it with an open mind because it will challenge you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from cre:ate 2.0 Publishing to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < <> >  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Joint: Bluetree

May 13, 2009 — 10 Comments

Review: Blue Tree – God of this City

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