Prime Cuts: God of Calvary, Good Good Father, Yes and Amen
Chris Tomlin's name is synonymous with worship music. Over the years, with songs such as "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)," "How Great is Our God," "Our God," and "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)," Tomlin has had written the soundtrack of the church's worship. Whether or not the causal worship knows Tomlin's name, most of us have sung his songs before in church. Moreover, Tomlin has had established such a repertoire of sublime worship tunes that every album is an event to look forward to. "Never Lose Sight," Tomlin's first non-festive album in almost two years, has already had fans waiting with bated breath. Even before the album's release, "Never Lose Sight" has top iTunes Inspirational Chart and it has been lingering in the upper echelon of Amazon's pre-order chart.
In fact, as earlier as last year, the anticipation of this release has been staged. "Good Good Father," the album's vanguard single, was released almost a year ago. Thus far, it has not only topped the Billboard Christian songs chart but it has also garnered Tomlin a GMA Dove Award. Though not written by Tomlin, "Good Good Father" is easily one of Tomlin's most memorable songs. The tenderness of the lyrics focusing on God's care easily strikes a visceral chord with most listeners. "Jesus," the follow-up single, unfortunately, is not quite of the same quality. Unlike "Good God Father" which is lyrically focused, "Jesus" is all over the map in terms of the language used of our Lord. The variegated images (Jesus walking on the sea/Jesus the roaring lion/Jesus the healer) all don't cohere, making the song sound like it was written by an amateur who has yet to learn the skill of honing his or her ideas cogently.
Much better is the third and current single "Home." With an avalanche of songs these days that focus on the here and now, "Home's" eschatological tenure gives the church a much need vocabulary that we are ultimately citizens of heaven. "God of Calvary" is this album's "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)." A gorgeous ballad that gives details to the final hours of Jesus Christ backed by a crescendo building tune, "God of Calvary" is vintage Tomlin. This song ought to be the anthem of churches not only during Easter but throughout the year. Incidentally, the album's titular, "Never Lose Sight," is a phrase lifted right out of the bridge of "God of Calvary."
Fans of Housefires would have realized that "Yes and Amen" was also featured on the group's latest release "III." Tomlin''s version is more compact and has a far better drive. As Tomlin is one of the pioneer worship leaders to mesh the classic hymns with newly crafted tunes (a la "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone"), "Come Thou Fount (I Will Sing)" is this album's contribution. If you love to hear Tomlin on a power worship ballad, "He Lives" is right up your alley. Dynamic, Christ-centered, and contagious, the song will get you lifting up your hands in worship before the chorus starts.
The regular version of "Never Lose Sight" features two duets. Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture takes her stand beside Tomlin on "First Love." The song is pretty unremarkable: it sounds like more like tailored CCM radio single than a congregational worship piece. Former American Idol finalist Danny Gokey has the other honors of singing with Tomlin. "Impossible Things" is definitely the better of the two duets. Gokey and Tomlin bring us back to the sovereignty of Jesus to do things we dare not imaged over a tune that easily rivets into our memories. "Never Lose Sight" is not universally flawless. But it's still vintage Tomlin. Songs such as "Good Good Father," "God of Calvary" and even "Yes and Amen" will continue to service churches in her worship as many of Tomlin's songs do.
Tags : Chris Tomlin chris tomlin never lose sight Kim Walker-Smith danny gokey chris tomlin new album passion worship chris tomlin album review chris tomlin never lose sight album review housefires Jesus Culture