Chris Tomlin is a superstar of contemporary Christian music, having sold more than 3 million albums in the past 10 years. Almost all of his songs offer praise and worship to God and quite a few (for example, "How Great is Our God") have found a place in contemporary worship services.
But Tomlin doesn't just compose music for Sunday liturgies. He believes Christians (even Lutherans!) might want to worship God wherever they are, all week long. His latest album, like six previous projects, is filled with upbeat worshipful songs that he hopes will fill not only sanctuaries but autos and iPods with praise for God.
Musically, Tomlin may be this generation's closest equivalent to Michael W. Smith. His songs are keyboard driven, with minimal guitars. His albums are rich with studio effects and crystal-clear production.
The latest album is called And if Our God is For Us (Sparrow Records), a reference to Romans 8:31. It offers 11 stadium-sized anthems with soaring choruses that tend to swell and repeat. It contains a few modern hymns intended for congregational singing ("Our God," "Faithful," "Majesty of Heaven"). Praise bands across the country may be adding these to their repertoire.
But for many listeners, the project's stellar tracks will be those that offer a more personal connection. "I Will Follow" has already been a top hit on Christian radio stations. "Lovely" reflects on two things that inspire awe: the beauty of creation and the cross of Christ. "No Chains on Me" connects liberation with spiritual revival. All of these songs show strong influence of bands like U2, Coldplay, and Arcade Fire, and might just provide the perfect accompaniment for an exercise workout or otherwise dull commute.
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