Music Review: For Unto Us: Christmas Worship Live From London by Paul Baloche

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November 25, 2017  
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Music Review: For Unto Us: Christmas Worship Live From London by Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche - Angels From The Realms Of Glory / Emmanuel
Paul Baloche - Hark The Herald Angels Sing / King Of Heaven
Paul Baloche - For Unto Us A Child Is Born / Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Basic Details

Release Date
Price (RRP)
£10.97 (amazon)
Digital Price
£7.99 (amazon)

Album Details

Artist(s)
Label(s)

Track Listing

Track1
Hark he Herald Angels Sing / King Of Heaven
Track2
Angels From The Realms Of Glory / Emmanuel
Track3
Joy To The World / Our God Saves
Track4
For Unto Us A Child Is Born / Open The Eyes Of My Heart
Track5
Your Name (Christmas Version)
Track6
Christmas Offering
Track7
O Come All Ye Faithful / We Adore You
Track8
This Is Love
Track9
Silent Night (All Is Calm)
Track10
Peace On Earth

Buying Options

Renowned worship leader and Dove Award-winning songwriter Paul Baloche releases For Unto Us: Christmas Worship Live From London to a global audience. The album, which was recorded at Trinity Broadcasting UK, follows Baloche’s critically acclaimed Christmas Worship studio projects, combining traditional carols with celebratory modern worship.

A worship pastor for over 20 years, Baloche created these unique arrangements to serve both worship teams and individual listeners, focusing them on the Christ of Christmas throughout the “busyness” of the holidays. The resulting songs create an environment familiar to both congregants and visitors during holiday services.

“While we love the content of traditional Christmas songs, they rarely facilitate a vertical expression of worship towards the Lord,” explains Baloche, writer of worship standards “Open The Eyes Of My Heart,” “Your Name” and “A New Hallelujah.” “The idea behind the Christmas Worship projects has been to combine the carols we enjoy with modern worship choruses that encourage worship all throughout the season.”

Editor review

Overall rating 
 
9.6
Vocals 
 
9.0
Lyrics 
 
10.0
Originality 
 
10.0
Value 
 
10.0
Personal Rating 
 
9.0

For Unto Us: Christmas Worship Live From London

Due to events of my childhood Christmas carols are often something that I try and avoid as much as possible. Mostly the issue is to do with inaccuracies in relation to the Christmas story but also those songs that are rich with teaching get relegated to four or five weeks of the year where we sing them to death and then stick them back in their box for another 11 months! However perhaps I am mellowing a little because I have found myself humming Christmas songs already and it's only November. So I have decided to face my displeasure head on and listen to this release from Paul Baloche and some special guests at his live Christmas worship concert.

I am aware that many of the tracks on this album have been released previously as studio versions on Paul's Christmas Worship CDs (Vols 1 & 2) but I have not listened to these albums, so for me this is a fresh experience - and I love it! As a live concert this feels fairly stripped back and just feels like an all-out worship event which is exactly what I want from my Christmas music, because honestly I could sing or listen to these songs any time of the year!

The way Baloche manages to do this is to combine the classic Christmas 'carols' with modern worship songs with interwoven medleys. This emphasises the worship aspect of the hymns and the way they have been arranged works to actually bring to mind what the carol is talking about. Check out the videos above to really get an idea of how this works. There are some tracks where musically it seems a bit of a stretch and things have to be moved around a little bit to work.

First and foremost this album is about worship and that is really what you get from beginning to end, a worship experience. It's only natural that these carols and their themes should fit with the modern worship tracks. Ultimately these songs are all pointing to Jesus and giving Him glory. However it is the weaving of the old and new that is by far and way the most special part of this album and, for me, this gives those carols a whole new feel.

There are a couple of more recent songs that are written by Paul. "Your Name" is the Christmas version of Paul's 2006 track, on this live performance it is sung as a duet between himself and Philippa Hanna. Paul's 2013 "Christmas Offering" is brought to life by Paul and guest singer Noel Robinson. "This is Love" is another track from 2013 but this recording features the amazing vocals of Donna Akodu taking the lead with Paul backing and it's absolutely beautiful! Paul's version of the classic "Silent Night" is great, sticking largely with the traditiona version, but with an added bridge and some great sounding guitars, which is not something often associated with the hymn.

The album rounds out, rather fittingly, with "Peace On Earth" which is a duet with Madison Cunningham and is basically a prayer for exactly what it says, but also reminding us that we have peace when we know Christ and what He has already accomplished on the cross.

If you are looking for a traditional Christmas album, then it is likely that this won't really be the album for you. However, if you are looking to make Christmas carols part of your worship - whether just for the next month, or ongoing, then I would suggest that this cleverly arranged album, full of classics combined with modern worship would be exactly what you are looking for!

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