Back in 1999, the labels that worked together to produce the wildly popular WOW compilations recognized the impact of the praise and worship genre on Christian music. They began releasing annual collections of praise songs under the banner WOW Worship. Few artists are featured on so many of these albums, both as worship leader and songwriter, as Paul Baloche. Baloche is the latest subject of Integrity’s Ultimate Collection (buy) series. The 15-song set celebrates his long impact on worship music, and includes expected favorites like “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” and “Our God Saves” alongside songs made famous by other artists. In fact, many listeners will come away thinking, “I had no idea he wrote all of these songs.”
Naturally, this collection has some overlap with previous live recordings and studio compilations.There aren’t too many glaring omissions, though “All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises” and “Because Of Your Love”—both left off—are consistently among the Baloche songs most often played in churches. Of course, you can’t include everything, and Ultimate Collection stands out as an excellent compilation of Baloche’s breadth and impact through 30 years of writing, performing, and teaching.