Release Date: November 20th 2015
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- SCHIJN MET UW LICHT IN MIJN HART, HEER [Open the Eyes of My Heart] (Paul Baloche & Forever Worship)
- VANDAAG IS DE DAG [Today is the Day] (InSalvation)
- KONING JEZUS, KOM [King of Heaven] (Paul Baloche, Miranda de Vlieger, Forever Worship)
- MIJN HOOP [My Hope] (Pearl Joan & Reyer)
- IK KAN NIET ANDERS [What Can I Do] (Kees Kraayenoord & Paul Baloche)
- MACHTIG GOD [Glorious] (InSalvation)
- PRIJS ADONAI [Praise Adonai] (Marcel & Lydia en Forever Worship)
- U ROEPT ONS [The Same Love] (Ruben Bulten)
- MEER DAN OOIT [Above All] (Paul Baloche en Marcel & Lydia)
- OFFER VAN AANBIDDING [Offering] (Kees Kraayenoord & Forever Worship)
- HOSANNA (MET ONS LIED, HEER) [Hosanna (Praise is Rising)] (Reni & Elisa en Forever Worship)
- VERSCHIJN [Arise] (Reyer & Forever Worship)
- UW NAAM [Your Name] (Paul Baloche, Pearl Joan, Forever Worship en Jafeth Bekx)
- HOE GROOT ZIJT GIJ [How Great Thou Art] (Paul Baloche & Forever Worship)
One of my favourite worship artists ever, Paul Baloche has delivered some of the most loved and played worship songs in various church services around the world within the last 10-20 years or so. Anthems like “Open the Eyes of My Heart”, “Above All”, “Hosanna (Praise is Rising)” and “Offering”, along with recent favourites like “Glorious”, “The Same Love”, “King of Heaven” and “Today is the Day” have been in circulation on radio for a while yet, and with his previously French recorded Glorieux released in 2013, his next foreign-language album is a great follow-up. Uw Naam features Paul and some of his friends deliver his songs in Dutch. And while I myself do not understand a word of Dutch, I have found myself enjoying this album very much. Music goes beyond borders and obviously languages too. And with Uw Naam is 14 songs full of emotion and encouragement. With Paul offering a collection of tracks so that the Dutch speakers of the world can enjoy and worship alongside Paul to their favourite worship songs, these famous hits of Paul’s recording past is enough for any fan of Paul’s music to be interested in. While many songs didn’t make the cut, these 14 tracks read like a best-of, as Paul reminds us all that the worship songs of heaven need not to be sung in the language it was originally written for it to have the same impact amongst generations around the world. Regardless of whether you know all of Paul’s songs, or you know Dutch very well, Paul’s new album is certain to be loved by the Dutch community, lovers of Paul’s worship music, or both. Who knows, maybe someone who knows no Dutch can pick up a few phrases here and there right?
Scanning through the 14 track list, we see some of the well-known, some of the lesser known, and some of the newer tracks represented in a collection of songs that have been part of the lives of many throughout many years. Title track “Uw Naam” (“Your Name”) brings to us a piano prominent song about us declaring God’s name above and beyond every situation and circumstance we may find ourselves in, as the English translation of the chorus declares the truth, that ‘…Your name is a strong and mighty tower, Your name is a shelter like no other, Your name, let the nations sing it louder, cause nothing has the power to save, but Your name…’, powerful biblical truths that are certain to impact any listeners who hears it. “Vandaag is de dag” (“Today is the Day”), unlike it’s French counterpart ‘Voici Le Jour’ (which reminds me more of the pace of Lincoln Brewster’s version of the hit), stays close to Paul’s original English recording, and while the song is heavily harmony reliant (instead of melody reliant), the song still speaks volumes, reminding us that today is the day, for action, for rest, for savouring the moments we’re in, rather than tomorrow (are we all but guaranteed tomorrow more so than the next person?).
“Open the Eyes of My Heart”, “What Can I Do”, “Praise Adonai”, “Above All”, “Offering” and “Arise” have all been proven hits of the past from Paul (all of which have appeared on The Writer’s Collection, arguably one of the best compilations ever by any current contemporary worship artist), and are all translated into Dutch for this album recording. Even “What Can I Do” features dual language (Dutch and English) recording artist Kees Kraayenoord, as we contemplate on the fact that we can’t do anything for God that He hasn’t already given to us, that all we can give to Him is our honour, obedience and acceptance of His gift of life given to us freely. “Hosanna” and “Hoe groot zijt Gij” (“How Great Thou Art”) are the sole representations of Our God Saves (not even the title track was translated and recorded in Dutch), and while it would’ve been interesting to hear “Our God Saves” in a different language, both these two songs are some of the best Paul has delivered- with Paul modernising the hymn in a musical sense as we see a hymn transformed into an anthem thoroughly enjoyed by myself and I’m sure many around the world.
And while Paul’s French album Glorieux was a combination of hits from The Same Love and Glorious, here this 14 track album is a collection of hits spanning many years of Paul’s contribution to worship, and while I reckon these two aforementioned albums are by far some of my favourite collection of songs I’ve heard from Paul in a very long time, only 4 tracks are represented from the two albums- Dutch renditions of “The Same Love”, “King of Heaven”, “My Hope” and “Glorious”. All in all, songs like the Dutch renditions of “Above All” and “The Same Love” made me think the song was originally recorded in Dutch before English (that’s how perfectly recorded the songs were). Though I may have wanted Paul to record Dutch versions of songs like “Because Of Your Love”, “All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises”, “I Will Boast”, “A Greater Song” or “A New Hallelujah”, these 14 tracks are more than enough for us to see the songs by Paul that have made an impact in people’s lives around the world, often more than we can initially think.
Even if I don’t know Dutch from a bar of soap, I can fully appreciate this album and know a masterpiece when I see one, with Uw Naam being no different. Paul’s continual contribution to the worship music industry has been and continues to be of great significance, with other artists like Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Meredith Andrews, Tim Hughes and Kari Jobe changing the musical landscape alongside him. While the album may seem redundant to people who don’t know Dutch, or if people already have his whole English catalogue already, Paul’s 2015 album, a follow-up to Glorieux, is certain to be loved by the Christian community in the Netherlands, where access to Christian material may not be as wide compared to that in Australia, America or the U.K. If you’re fascinated with Dutch culture and language, then Uw Naam is perfect, with great worshipful moments, and possibly the best album, alongside Glorieux that I’ve heard that’s not in English. Well done Paul for such a well-crafted album full of emotion and heart!
4 songs to listen to: Uw Naam, Hosanna, Mee Dan Ooit, Offer Van Aanbidding
RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes