Prime Cuts: Come Holy Spirit, Lord of All, How Long, O Lord
When you mention songs such as "Shout to the Lord" or "God Will Make a Way" or "As the Deer" or "Give Thanks" immediately our minds makes the association between the title and the melody. And if you are someone who have had grown up in the church, we could easily hum the tunes of these immortal gems in a flash. This is because these are more than just songs; these are snapshots of worship trawled by indelible hooks and mesmerized by God-besotted words. However, by the turn of the Millennium, such songs are getting rarer and rarer these days. In this age of deconstruction where songs are crafted along plagiarized guitar riffs and where melodic structures are never foreground, songs today are easily forgettable and it's becoming more and more of a challenge to find a song that can weather the passing of time. However, listening to Christina Paul's brand new record "Lord of All" brings us on a time warp back to those days where a song's biggest alluring power is not in its trendiness. Rather, it's in the meaty theological insights and its carefully crafted melodic structures.
Christina Paul may be a new name to many of us. However, if you have been a fan of Christian music in India, Paul is already a household name in her home land. Having released seven Christian albums in Tamil, Paul has been at the front lines winning souls for the cause of God's Kingdom. In the year 2010, Paul and her husband Paul Jeyasingh founded "Christ for All, Ministries," a Christian organization that sends out missionaries to the darkest parts of India. "Lord of All" is Paul's debut album sung entirely in English. Featuring 11 songs written singlehandedly by Paul herself, the album is helmed by Grammy and Dove winning producer Phil Naish. Naish has had a seven-album relationship with CCM's superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, where he drove numerous singles of Chapman's all the way to the penthouse position of the chart. And over the years, Naish has had also produced albums by Carman, Sandi Patty, Point of Grace, Steve Green, Michael Card, the Martins and many others.
Vanguard single and title cut "Lord of All" opens up the proceedings on a grandiose note. Calling to mind those soaring worship ballads that Sandi Patty had made a career out of, "Lord of All" has an in-built drama that crescendo to a majestic height as Paul piles one appellation of Christ one after another. Worship has never sounded more heavenly than on this title cut. And if you love piano ballads unapologetically imbued by soul-stirring strings "Never Let Me Go" and "Touch of Grace" are bound to get you hitting the repeat button over and over again. But more than just ear-grabbing melodies, these are the songs that are going to be great ammunitions for all of when we are tempted to despair in times of discouragement. Anchoring us in the hope that our God never leaves us in the bleakest of times, these songs are going to be our trusted guides leading us back to Jesus.
Speaking of songs that light up our nights, don't miss "How Long, O Lord." Inspired by Psalm 13, the song has a Jewish sonic slither that somehow brings out a Middle Eastern flavor so befitting of the Psalm's context. Then there are also a few songs written with congregation in mind. If you are looking for a song that will automatically elicit worship from the congregation "Come Holy Spirit" is the answer. With a Don Moen inspired flow and a chorus that is so inviting, it's a challenge not to sing along to this call of invocation. Capturing Paul's missionary heart is the pop-induced "I Can See It Now." Thus, in short: If you are looking for songs that foreground gorgeously crafted melodic lines that move the feet and rattle the heart, look no farther than Paul's "Lord of All."