Worship Album Review: Josh Baldwin’s “Where The Glory Is”
- Bethel Music Collectives Josh Baldwin’s album, Where The Glory Is, encourages people to experience peace, and the hope that is found in God.
Bethel Music Collectives Josh Baldwin’s album, Where The Glory Is, encourages people to experience peace, and the hope that is found in God. Born and raised in North Carolina, Baldwin started his worship ministry early in life, playing drums for his father and other worship leaders in church. With years of experience behind him, Baldwin says he wants to create a space for people to feel seen, encouraged, and invited into intimacy with God.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Baldwin’s overall sound is heartening, like breaking bread with an old friend. His baritone, country tinged vocals hint at his North Carolina roots. His melodies are memorable and singable, backed with a blend of a modern country and Christian Contemporary sound. The overall effect is a welcome familiarity that draws you in.
Notable Worship Songs
The song Resurrection Day (co-written with Matt Armstrong, and Ethan Hulse) is catchy, singable, and accessible for small or large churches. With a thumping, four-on-the-floor bass drum, the first verse parallels Christ’s resurrection day with the resurrection our souls experience when accepting the Grace of God in salvation. The line, “The old life is gone, the new has come to stay, and the sorrows of the past are turnin’ into praise,” is a poetic example of the new beginning God grace gives us with through Salvation.
Where The Glory Is (co-written with David Leonard and Andy Cherry) speaks especially to those in the midst of struggle. Paired with a heartfelt melody, the first verse opens with, “I’ve walked through the night, I’ve seen better days, and you’ve always been the same.” This admission casts light into those shadowy alcoves of our heart where many of us hide our hurt, and doubt and insecurities. Baldwin then shows Gods redemption of all that rubbish we cling to with the first line of the chorus, “This is where the Glory is, You’re the one I’m walking with.” Not only does God assure us we are never alone, but he walk with us in our pain, and raises us up above our insecurities, loss, and hardships, in ways we can never imagine.
This is where the Glory is, I’m never alone.
Every worship leader loves a good worship anthem and Baldwin brings that in Still Standing with Patrick Mayberry. The song makes use of solid scriptural metaphors drawn from Mathew 7:24-27 of building on a solid rock and that all other ground is sinking sand, Isaiah 28:16 referring to God as our firm foundation, and Isaiah 54:17 declaring that no weapon raised against us will prosper.
The hidden gem of this project is on what would have been the ‘B’ side of an album in the past. I See The Light is reflective and energetic. It’s a big anthem that may do better in a larger church setting but is still effective in a more average sized church. Its chorus is a direct response to satan’s whispered lie that we are lost, alone, and destined to walk in the dark. No! The story of God’s love is still being told in each of us and shines bright because, “I’m kneeling at the foot of the cross, my richest gains I count but lost. No more sin and sorrow reign, through Jesus blood I’m forever changed.”
I see the light, Hallelujah, Hope is alive.
Some of Baldwin’s songs are less accessible for worship and move more towards performance pieces like Fresh Fire, Fresh Wind, and Narrow Road. These lean heavier into the country feel and are great expressions, I think, of Baldwin’s personal faith journey that many will connect with.
Baldwin brings great baritone vocals, with hints of country, that gives his performance a compelling style. This is reflected in the melodies, chord structures and some of the instrumental backing. But, on occasion, some of the instrumentation veers into the overdone modern worship sound, detracting from Baldwin’s North Carolina influenced vibe.
Josh Baldwin brings a solid album with several strong worships songs accessible to worship singers and instrumentalists of all levels. The melodies are memorable and singable. People will be humming and singing these tunes throughout their week, not just in church.
Great anthems of praise.
Some of the arrangements delve into the overdone modern worship sound, but they don’t stay there long.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.