Christmas Worship

Christmas Worship

A blend of the traditional and the modern makes Paul Baloche’s Christmas Worship a distinctive holiday project. Over the past two decades, the Texas-based worship leader has released albums that applied his warm, slightly rough-edged vocals to songs with Scripture-rooted lyrics and polished pop/rock melodies. His first Christmas project takes a similar tack as it combines verses from familiar carols with choruses from contemporary worship favorites (or vice versa). This approach lends both gravity and energy to tracks like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing/King of Heaven,” “Joy to the World/Shout for Joy," and “Angels We Have Heard on High (Deo).” Baloche’s use of choir vocals lends a communal glow to the title track, while his simpler, more folk-pop side comes through on “Oh Come Emmanuel.” Original compositions like “This Is Love” (a shimmering ballad cowritten and sung with Kathryn Scott) and “Follow That Star” (a yearning tune featuring Aaron Shust on vocals) further enrich the album. “Prepare Him Room” is another highlight that has all the makings of a church nativity standard.

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