REVIEW: Paul Baloche – Your Mercy

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In the genre of worship music, Paul Baloche needs no introduction. A pioneer in the modern worship music movement since it began taking hold in the early 1990s, he has penned church favorites such as “Open the Eyes of my Heart,” “Above All,” “The Same Love” & many more.

Your Mercy” is Baloche’s first release of all new material since 2012 and, although it maintains a very “Baloche-esque” sound, it is a departure for this seasoned artist. From beginning to end the album is much more organic than his previous releases. With the absence of digital instrumentation, “Your Mercy” embraces a very organic, natural feel. This is written for the worship leader with congregational engagement in mind.

Co-writing with other younger established artists and writers such as Aaron Gillespie, Matt Redman, and Meredith Andrews has kept Paul’s song current and relevant. Capitalizing on his depth and experience and the youth and vitality brought by his pen mates, Baloche finds a winning formula here.

From the first strum of the ultra singable “Psalm 92 (It is Good)”, it is obvious that this Integrity Music powerhouse has not lost his touch in writing songs for the church. Worship Pastors, such as myself, love lyrics that are pulled straight from scripture. “Once for All” is driven by strong percussion and an accessible theological message of substitutionary atonement.

The thundering percussive theme continues through tracks like “I Will Worship You” which sticks with you long after the song ends. “Songs of the People” and “God Evermore” introduce welcome melodic surprises and utilize unique instrumentation (such as the mandolin) to explore different tonal space.

The variety of style can be felt though the title track and “We Come to You Jesus”, which invoke hints of folk, acoustic-driven guitar work and descending melodic verses.

As with most of Baloche’s projects, “Your Mercy” is a worship experience, particularly when listened to all the way through from beginning to end. That said, the project is not without faults: the final two tracks – “More than I Deserve” and “Peace on Earth” – feel like fillers when compared to the strength of the rest of the album.

All in All, “Your Mercy” is another strong showing from one of Christian music’s elite songwriters and worship leaders. A must have for those leading congregational worship.

Stand out Tracks: “Once For All” “Songs of the People” and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (We Turn)”

 

Matt Chandler is the Creative Arts Pastor at Journey Church in Barrington, NH. An accomplished singer, worship leader, & songwriter, he resides in Rochester with his wife, Rachel, & two children.