Chris Tomlin - Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship
STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82657-16103 LABEL: Survivor SURCD5170 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-10-26 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Every year we have the strange spectacle of established artists, both in the mainstream and in the CCM world, falling over themselves to record Christmas albums. From a commercial perspective it's easy to see why so many acts succumb to this trend - Christmas albums sell by the bushel load in December - but aesthetically, of course, most Christmas releases simply don't last beyond the time it takes to finish the turkey. Making unimaginitively arranged recordings of Christmas carols interspersed with dreadful songs of sleigh bells and Santa may achieve some quick sales but hardly ever do such releases do anything for the creative reputation of the artists involved. To his credit then, America's top selling praise and worship leader makes a reasonable fist of carols like "Angels We Have Heard On High", "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" and "O Holy Night". The production by Ed Cash is hearteningly restrained while there's some deft acoustic guitar work from Cash himself and easy on the ear backing vocals from Christy Nockels bringing out the poignancy of Tomlin's huskily emotive voice. There are some Tomlin originals of course with both "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" and "My Soul Magnifies The Lord" having their moments without ever suggesting that they will become classics sung at Christmas' future. All in all then, a reasonable album which at least strives to bring the concept of the incarnation into the Christmas frame.
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The list of accomplishments for Chris Tomlin is lengthy. With six records, eight No. 1 radio singles, three GRAMMY nominations, 14 Dove Awards, one platinum and one gold album, and fresh off a multi-sell-out US spring tour and 17-city Passion World Tour, the list of first’s is small.
But this fall, releases the highly-anticipated first Christmas album from Tomlin, Glory in the Highest - Christmas Songs of Worship. Recorded over two nights in Nashville, Tomlin gathered a community of worship leaders and artists to lend their voices to the special live recording. Featuring familiar classics including “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “O Holy Night,” “Joy to the World”, to which he wrote a new refrain, and four new sure-to-be longtime seasonal favorites, Chris desires people to experience these familiar carols as songs of worship.
Produced by Ed Cash, and with noted participation by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels and newcomer singer/songwriter, Audrey Assad, Glory In The Highest will be a Christmas favorite for years to come.