Reviewed by Tony Cummings
When all is said and done, it's the songs which make or break a worship album. You can have top production - and getting Martin Smith, now that he's free of on-the-road duties, to produce Tim's first studio album for four years was a great idea. You can have top rate guests - 'Love Shine Through' brings in members of the Rend Collective Experiment, Marc James (Verra Cruz), Jerry Brown (Girls Aloud), Michael Guy Chislet (Hillsong United) and BVs from David Grant and Fay Simpson. You can have high profile co-writers - and here Ben Cantelon, Nick Herbert, Martin Smith and others all help Tim with the songwriting. But finally, it's whether the songs draw the reviewer away from the prosaic matters of word counts and copy deadlines and into that mystical place where hopes are renewed, fears are healed and divine love begins to envelop the listener which is the test of a great worship album. So I can report here that Martin and his array of helpers have created a great worship album. If I was a worship music executive I might then be pondering whether 'Love Shine Through' contains a congregational song like "Here I Am To Worship" or "Happy Day" which will circle the globe as it touches millions of hearts in worship. But in truth I, and I don't believe anyone else, can easily identify an individual song out of the countless thousands being written and recorded and predict world Church success. What I can say is that this collection touched my heart and got me focusing not on CCLI chart positions or whether the background vocal interjections of Jesus Culture's Kim Walker-Smith on "Saviour's Song" actually constitutes a "duet" with Tim as the press release suggests, and got me praising and worshiping a God who shines his love through the darkness of our world. The songs here are unremittingly strong. The opener, "Counting On Your Name", has that poignantly wistful quality which is Tim's forte. "Saviour's Song", a co-write with Kees Kraayenoord, is a glorious celebration of saving faith. "Ecclesiastes" is a delightfully arranged presentation of many of King Solomon's thought provoking insights. Apart from the overlong intro of the opener I loved Josiah Sherman's sweeping synth washes (Josiah is a member of The Listening, best known under their old moniker The Rock & Roll Worship Circus). I loved the entrance of the Jesus House Gospel Choir on a couple of songs to add anthemic bombast to Tim's wistful vocals. Above all, I loved the mood of quiet reflection alongside the expected moments of exhilarating passion. Thoroughly recommended.
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The fourth full-length studio album from Tim Hughes promises to be a stunner. Across the eleven tracks the Worship Central/Holy Trinity Brompton leader delivers a range of worship songs that are engaging, inspiring and sure to become church-essentials for many years to come.
Produced by Martin Smith and featuring a duet with Kim Walker-Smith and guest appearances from Rend Collective Experiment and Jesus House Choir, this spring release is a natural successor to Tim’s 2007 release Holding Nothing Back.
The album also features musicians Jerry Brown (Girls Aloud), Michael Guy Chislet (Hillsong United) and Marc James (Verra Cruz), BVs from David Grant and Fay Simpson, and was mixed by Sam Gibson (Delirious?, Hillsong United) and mastered at Abbey Road.