Tony Cummings reports on the modern worship phenomenon CHRIS TOMLIN
Time magazine recently called Chris Tomlin the "most often sung artist anywhere." Few would argue with that statement. His worship songs continue to circulate around the globe penetrating every kind of church while his albums continue to be huge hits. In interviews Chris is anxious to emphasise that his immense influence as a songwriter and artist is not something he had ever planned. He told Matthew Eldridge recently, "God got a real hold of my life when I was about 14 years old and I remember getting on my face and saying 'God, whatever it is you want me to do for the rest of my life, that's what I want to do.' I meant it with all of my heart. It was never, 'God would you please make me a musician, I really want to write songs, I really want to be on stage!' It was, 'God, here I am, I'm just available to you and open to you whatever you want me to do.' And from that simple prayer as a 14 year old kid God began to move mountains to make it work with music."
'And If Our God Is For Us. . .' (sixtsteprecords/Sparrow) is the songsmith's seventh album. It contains "No Chains On Me" co-written with Matt Redman, "Lovely", a song penned with new co-writer Jason Ingram, and "I Lift My Hands", written with the youth evangelist and founder of the Passion event, Louie Giglio. The opener to the project though is "Our God", a song originally heard on the 'Passion: Awakening' album, which has already made number one on US Christian radio. The new version is orchestrated and has a slower start. Chris spoke to Christian Retailing magazine about the "Our God" song. "It was such a massive, rocket song that I could never believe for it to become that strong of a song. It probably ended up being one of the biggest songs of our music life for me and my band, so we've just been blown away by it."
Chris was asked what it was like recording in his new cabin studio for the first time. "Every record I've done has been in Nashville, so this has been really nice to be just down the road from my house, and it just created an atmosphere that all of us were like, this is the best experience we have ever had recording, I think just because we were at home and there was no clock that was ticking, it was just like, let's see what happens and record. It's just been so awesome."
Chris described the sound on 'And If Our God Is For Us. . .' as "big, beautiful and high energy." He went on to explain the major different between it and its predecessors, "What we did differently this record is I used two different producers. Ed Cash has produced my last several records and he is amazing and has become a huge part of the success of my music and I didn't want to walk away from that, so Ed produced half of this record and then we wanted to bring in someone new because it's been several years now, five or six years, since I've used anybody new and so I used Dan Mukala, who is amazing. People would know him from Brandon Heath."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.