Written by: Laura Chambers (3/25/2017)
Sometimes, it can be really hard to transition from one mode of thinking to another. For instance, if you just had an argument with somebody and are still mad, you might instinctively respond to the next person who tries to get your attention with an angry, “WHAT?” Or if you’re somebody who’s constantly moving all day long, you might find it difficult to finally settle down in the evening.
There are many safe, effective methods for easing such changes; breathing exercises, jogging, cooking, to name a few. But nothing sets the mood of a room and soothes the soul like music. Even King Saul, tormented as he was, found comfort in (future king) David’s songs (most of the time). Now another David, David Baloche–himself related to Christian music royalty (his father is Paul Baloche, who also produced the album) –hopes to draw us humbly towards the holy with Labyrinth, a collection of Scripture set to song. The verses chosen are from a variety of newer translations.
“He Hears My Voice (Psalm 55:16-17 NLT)” reminds us that we can turn to God at any time of the day, and He will hear and deliver us. Desperation mingles with comfort as the song becomes more urgent and certain with each repetition of the words. In some places, the music has an Oriental flavour. The sound at the beginning of “Nothing Can Separate (Romans 8:38 NLT)” is distorted and pulsating in places, kind of jarring, as though the song is breaking through our perceptions to bring the message that we cannot be separated from the love of God. I found it rather like one of those alarms which is designed to move you to action by its sheer persistence, but without a particularly pleasing sound. “Come To Me (Matthew 11:28 NIV, ISV, ESV, GWT, BLB, & Proverbs 3:24 NIV)” echoes Jesus’ invitation for the weak and oppressed to draw close to Him. There’s a drum which sounds in places which seems to be His heartbeat.
“Green Pastures (Psalm 23:2-4 NIV)” draws from what is probably the most famous psalm of all to declare the provision of God. He quenches our longings and walks with us through darkness. It’s not always as quiet a song as you’d expect for the subject matter, though, but it does make good use of harmony. “Those Who Hope (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)”, drawn from another familiar verse – eagle’s wings – takes over a minute to get going, and once it does, it continues to be underpinned by a continuous, annoying, humming sound which distracts the ear from the Scripture being sung. “Lead Me To The Rock (Psalm 61:1-2 2 NIV, 2, 4 NLT)” petitions God to hear the prayer being spoken, and bring us to live in safety, protected by Him.
“Groanings Too Deep For Words (Romans 8:26 ESV)” recalls that when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit speaks on our behalf, making up for our lack. “As A Father Carries His Son (Deuteronomy 1:31 NIV)” compares a father bearing his child in his arms to God bringing us to our destination. The vocals are rather high-pitched, but the flute (I believe) creates this pleasant sound mimicking a person walking onward one step at a time. “The Peace Of God (Philippians 4:7 ESV, Proverbs 3:5 NIV, Proverbs 3:6 ESV, NLT)” assures us that we will be protected by His peace. We need to trust Him instead of our own eyes, and acknowledge God always, for He will point us in the right direction. “My Help Comes From The Lord (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)” entreats us to have no fear in God’s presence, to look for help from Him who created all. The song takes turns speaking as God and responding to His admonitions as man.
I have to say that Labyrinth is not what I was expecting at all. Whereas I figured on ambient background music, these songs don’t seem content to be a mere soundtrack. To be honest, I’d much rather read the verses than listen to this album. It wasn’t one of my favorites; however, the message comes through loud and clear.
Released: March 24, 2017
Label: David Baloche
- He Hears My Voice (Psalm 55:16-17 NLT) (4:33)
- Nothing Can Separate (Romans 8:38 NLT) (3:17)
- Come To Me (Matthew 11:28 NIV, ISV, ESV, GWT, BLB, & Proverbs 3:24 NIV) (3:03)
- Green Pastures (Psalm 23:2-4 NIV) (4:36)
- Those Who Hope (Isaiah 40:31 NIV) (3:39)
- Lead Me To The Rock (Psalm 61:1-2 2 NIV, 2, 4 NLT) (2:47)
- Groanings Too Deep For Words (Romans 8:26 ESV) (3:32)
- As A Father Carries His Son (Deuteronomy 1:31 NIV) (4:17)
- The Peace Of God (Philippians 4:7 ESV, Proverbs 3:5 NIV, Proverbs 3:6 ESV, NLT) (3:09)
- My Help Comes From The Lord (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 121:1-2 NIV) (4:22)
10 Tracks, 37:00
Buy on iTunes
More from David Baloche:
- Labyrinth (2017)
Links for David Baloche: