CHRISTMAS WORSHIP by Paul Baloche

Hark the Herald is one of my favorite Christmas tracks. And I like Paul Baloche’s take on it because it’s simple and close to the original. Not overly done, in short. And I also enjoy singing the chorus he made, which sings:

“King of Heaven come down, King of Heaven come down. Let Your glory reign shining like the day. King of heaven come. King of heaven rise up, who can stand against us You are strong to save with Your mighty name. King of heaven come.”

Angels we have heard on high was also GREAT! It had such a beautiful arrangement that makes me want to dance in praise. I can imagine singing with the angels while shouting “In excelsis deo!” What an amazing night it was indeed, the night our Saviour was born in the humble town of Bethlehem. And how pleasant it is to the soul when we recall the nativity by singing about it. 

If you can spare some of your precious time, you might as well check out the entire album entitled “Christmas Worship” by Paul Baloche. Join him sing classic Christmas tunes that tell of the great story of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus.

BRUTAL ROMANTIC by Brooke Fraser #reinvented

After 4 looooong years, finally, Brooke Fraser is alive. And this time, she’s almost totally different. First off, it’s very evident with her hair color. From jet black, she’s gone blonde. She’s also matured a lot, and I mean that in a good way. Here is a woman who is ever-willing to learn and never runs out of ways to reinvent herself. And the change is undeniably noticeable in the album. Yes, the album.

Brutal Romantic is obviously out of the box. It’s not the typical brooke-fraser-is-a-nice-Christian-girl type of album. It’s far from Flags and Albertine. It’s nothing like Hillsong. No. There’s no direct mention of God or Jesus yet the songs are powerful and I can sense that they’re written out of something that’s deeper and bigger and even beyond the words themselves. The songs and the music videos somehow put me in a position where I’m forced to think and reflect and be silent even just for a while. At first I was, well, shocked, with this new Brooke and this album. For a moment I thought that she’s become an Illuminati or something. But according to her, this is just the output of her continuous desire to learn and to thrive on new paths, as if she’s beginning from scratch.

Of all 10 tracks, so far my favorite is Kings and Queens. The melody and the instruments somehow sound like a fusion of Imogen Heap and Regina Spektor and Empire of the Sun, as it has the mixture of electronic and alternative sort of thing. But aside from that, I like the lyrics. It has so many interpretations yet however you put it you can’t deny that it’s young. Being 21, I immediately related to it because it’s so true that I still have a long way to go. The Chorus says, “We’ve got a long to go but we got the energy. It took a little while to find reality. We’ve come a long way you know, living inside a dream.Waking to find that we are kings and queens.”

The tracks are definitely worth checking out. To give you a preview, here’s the album sampler:

YOUNG AND FREE!

yf-artwork-640   young-and-free-hillsong-collected

” Hillsong Young & Free – the sound of today’s young people – ALIVE and walking in their God-given freedom, confident of who they are in Christ.”

When I first heard about it, I was some sort of skeptical because honestly, I felt like this is conforming to the patterns of this world. But when I heard the songs, I guess I was wrong. This is the sound of the new generation of young worshipers. Hillsong’s senior pastor, Brian Houston, invited all worshipers to open their hearts to this new sound. After all, the psalmist exhorted us to sing a new song to God; to let our lips declare His praise and worship, and maybe even break out from our old mindsets; and allow the joy and vibrancy of youth to give us an even greater love for Jesus Christ.

The lyrics were liberating, not to mention that the melodies and arrangements were great. The songs speak of grace and mercy and love – but in a different, more modern package. Among the fast praise tracks in this new release, I liked Alive and Wake. But I instantly fell in love with the solemnity and sincerity of Sinking Deep.

“Your love so deep
Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek
You are my everything

Jesus Christ
You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry
To know You all my life”