STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 48023-14469 LABEL: Survivor 5099921235924 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-09-16 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
From my perspective, Chris Tomlin is the worship leader/songwriter who has shown the most consistent creative development over the last five or six albums. Put simply, the best selling songsmith possesses an uncanny knack of finding truly memorable melodies and putting to them lyrics which demonstrate once and for all that not ALL modern worship lyrics are recycled clichés. Take for example the stark theologically rich poetry of the uplifting ballad "Jesus Messiah" ("His body the bread, his blood the wine/Broken and poured our for all love/The whole world trembled and the veil was torn/Love so amazing, love so amazing"). Lyrics in themselves of course don't make great worship songs and it was the guitarist in Chris' band, Daniel Carson, who provided the plangent melody. Then there's "I Will Rise" which echoes the theme of the old classic hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" to bring nurture and comfort to the troubled and grief-stricken ("There's a peace I've come to know/Though my heart and flesh may fail/There's an anchor for my soul/I can say, 'It is well'"). As well as Chris' winning way with words, he clearly has the ear of a top line A&R man. Having discovered the Laura Story-penned "Indescribable", on this set he brings to the mass audience Bluetree's "God Of This City". Many Cross Rhythms readers who've bought Bluetree's brilliant debut album 'Greater Things' will already know this is a classic song and here Chris, helped by deft production from Ed Cash, gives it the same faith-producing treatment when he first sang it at the Passion events. There are several other superlative songs on this album while Cash's production, like the African Children's Choir and exotic drumming on "Love", is state of the art. Maybe there will be a better worship album released this year. but I'll be surprised if there is.
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