9th October, 2008
Album: Hello Love
Artist: Chris Tomlin
In A Word: Singsingsing
"I'm still not sure how to 'fault' a Tomlin record. There are some songs that may go unnoticed but only for the many that are so outstanding. If anything, I have to say, I much prefer his tunes on a live record simply for the effervescence how the songs were meant to be heard."
If you haven't been following lately there is, in modern 'God music' or 'congregational worship music', a major line of thought drawing it all together. The message is being preached from pulpits by folks like Mike Pilivachi, Darlene Zschech and Louie Giglio. It is being sung about by United, Delerious?, and Chris Tomlin. It is that, as Tomlin puts it, "wedding worship and justice, this generation of Believers wants to love God by loving those in need".
It should not slide without notice then that Hello Love, the latest in Tomlin's speedily thickening opus is full of messages of redemption, hope and justice.
The opening cut, Sing Sing Sing, is a joyous charge that will have you, well, singing! Tomlin has a gift for great chorus melodies that congregations can catch easily. (Our lot at my home church had this one down before the first chorus was done!)
Stand outs include God Of This City, You Lifted Me Out and the dramatic string laden God Almighty, a dramatic six-eight that speaks of Gods character: "You're the breath of life / You're the God on high / Your song shall rise / and never pass away."
The 'title' track Love features the Watoto children's choir and is a delight in it's simplicity and honest delivery: "love is the answer / Love will find a way / When we love one another / it's a brighter day / O-kwa-ga-la-kwe. Ku-singa-byoo-na"...etc!!
Praise the Father, Praise the Son seems to be the obligatory hymn-style track of the modern writer, and fits well with the theme of the closing track; one many would know, All The Way My Saviour Leads Me. Of course, Mr Tomlin had a hit with his take on Amazing Grace on the last record and Hello Love simply shows again the huge influence the hymn writers have had in his listening.
I'm still not sure how to 'fault' a Tomlin record. There are some songs that may go unnoticed but only for the many that are so outstanding. If anything, I have to say, I much prefer his tunes on a live record simply for the effervescence how the songs were meant to be heard.
Hello Love gives plenty of reasons to say 'hello' back and start a decent conversation or two.