In recent years, our annual picks for the year's most impressive worship albums have touched on reworked hymns, promising new talent, and cutting edge projects that redefine offering praise through song. But between October 2005 and September 2006—our "fiscal year" for making these picks—we've seen a welcome return by many of the influential veterans of worship music from over the last twenty years, recapturing many of the same songwriting qualities that first allowed their work to ignite the hearts of churches around the world.
As always, this particular list remains unranked to avoid favoring one worship style over another, keeping the focus on the diversity with which we can glorify God through music. Our selections—made by Russ Breimeier and Andree Farias, both worship leaders in their own churches—are based on creativity and practicality, favoring projects that balance artful expression with accessible songwriting that can be easily embraced by congregations or inspire personal quiet time.
Paul Baloche (Integrity)
Breimeier: Though he's made several major contributions to church music libraries over the last twenty years, including "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and "Above All," Baloche has labored to create a fully satisfying worship collection … until now. This is a strong and consistent mix of traditional, contemporary, and modern styles, with writing assistance from Matt Redman, Don Moen, and Brenton Brown to name a few, plus vocal support from Sara Groves and Kathryn Scott. A Greater Song is a greater album from one of the greatest worship writers around.
Farias: His modern worship standards notwithstanding, I for the longest time pegged Baloche ...