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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

92 Ratings

Joy-Driven, Hope-Centered, God-Infused

Cory Kruse,

With each new Chris Tomlin release, you know to a degree what you're getting: stirring, smartly-written worship anthems and intimate, heart-sundering Psalms. His blend of acoustic/pop is at once easy on the ears and purifying to the soul. His creativity and talent are readily apparent; at times subtle, and at others bombastic, his genius and skill always make themselves know. Tomlin has always had an aptitude for penning catchy melodies and beautiful, God-centered lyrics. All share a singular focus: glorifying Jesus and leading others to Him. Never Lose Sight, Tomlin's eleventh studio outing, is no different. Commencing in a huge way with the destined-to-be-hymnalized "Good Good Father," and the current radio single "Jesus," the album proceeds with a joyful urgency and an ethereal vigor—as if heaven itself is converging with earth. The former tune, a resounding declaration of God's character and love and the Church's identity within His saving arms, is a cover of Housefires' original. While the original is a profound and utterly moving examination of God as father—a gracious and loving dad or papa who sees and knows and moves; draws near; calling each of us as His own—Tomlin's rendition adds its own flair and life, the additional production coalescing with his angelic voice to foster a truly spiritual and divine experience. The latter, "Jesus," is a piano-driven exclamation of the Savior's love and providence; hope radiates in every lyric ("Who stands in the fire beside me. He roars like a lion. He bled as the lamb. He carries my healing in His hands") and listeners cannot hear the song without feeling as if Jesus is speaking directly to them, meeting the listener in whatever his or her situation might be. The album doesn't let up from there; what comes next is a string of worship odes and anthemic, praise-driven songs that feel somehow both eternal and intimately immediate, as if they were written just for us and this day and age; as if they were songs the very choirs of angels sing, a current of divine, golden music leading directly to the Father in heaven. They're Psalms that speak to the human experience and offer comfort and worship and infusions of joy; they're golden-glossed vantages presenting an awe-inspiring glimpse of what's to come. Throughout, the album keeps a consistent pace and flow, undulating naturally between ballads and upper-tempo affairs throughout. Tomlin is aided by several guest collaborators, whose voices provide a refreshing change-up and elegantly supplement Tomlin's own. Another hymn ("Come Thou Fount") is given new life and adroitly so (Tomlin seems to have a genuine knack for eliciting new, refreshing choruses for hallowed classics; see "Amazing Grace" and "Crown Him" from previous albums). The final cut of the standard album, "First Love," concludes the proceedings on a celestial, heavenly note that again brings the focus back onto God—the perfect ending.

With this latest release, Chris Tomlin has not lost sight of his calling, nor of his creative and artistic potential. Here he is better than ever; his musicianship and talent are on ready display. Here his heart of worship and joy radiates through every song, and he offers a lasting collection of gorgeously-crafted hymns that the whole world ought to sing. Here his God-anointed purpose continues, and it has never been more meaningful, more transcendent.

Leaves a little to be desired...

dwsongs.com,

In the context of corporate worship, Tomlin has historically been really good about releasing material that is both fresh and accessible for singing along with on a Sunday morning. This album has some solid tunes (like Good Good Father, Home, etc), but as a worship leader I was hoping for a few more engaging up-tempo songs. The majority of this album is slow, reflective, or mid-tempo which is totally fine - I'm sure that's just an example of where he's heading as an artist. It seems like he's moving away from writing/recording the corporately accessible stuff toward middle of the road, artist oriented stuff. That's not a knock on Chris Tomlin, just an observation from someone who's been utilizing his work in the worship context for 15 years or so.

About Chris Tomlin

One of the leading artists and activists within contemporary Christian music, Chris Tomlin is a successful singer and songwriter whose 2005 album Arriving has sold over 500,000 copies, and whose compositions "Holy Is the Lord" and "How Great Is Our God" are among the most popular contemporary songs in the world's churches, being sung by millions of Christians at worship services every week. Born in Grand Saline, Texas in 1972, Tomlin grew up listening to country music and learned to play guitar from his father (Tomlin has cited Willie Nelson's Stardust as a key influence). At the age of nine, Tomlin accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and at 14 wrote his first song of praise.

He enrolled at Texas A&M in the early '90s to study medicine, but as he heard the call to bring himself and others closer to God, he grew active in a campus Christian group called Breakaway. Tomlin was a worship leader with Breakaway when he began attending Bible study sessions with Louie Giglio, who led a Christian group at Baylor University in Waco called Choice. Tomlin and Giglio worked together at youth ministry camps, and Tomlin was soon performing praise songs regularly for Giglio's events. In time, Giglio's group evolved into Passion, a nationwide organization for young Christians on college campuses, and Giglio started a record company, Six Steps Records, to record youth-oriented Christian artists. Tomlin, whose songs had become mainstays at Breakaway and Passion services, became one of Six Steps' first signings, and The Noise We Make, released in 2001, was Tomlin's first album. The band Tomlin assembled while serving as a pastor at Woodland, Texas's Harvest Ministry -- Daniel Carson on guitar, Jesse Reeves on bass, and Ryan Sandlin on drums -- began touring, often appearing at Passion events around the country as well as headlining its own concerts. (In 2004, Ryan Sandlin left the group, and Travis Nunn took over behind the drums.) In 2002, Tomlin moved to Austin, Texas, and became a pastor at Austin's Stone Community Church, where he helped guide a congregation of 1,500. As Tomlin's songs and recordings found a wider audience, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his 2006 album See the Morning (which rose to number one on Billboard's Christian albums chart and number 15 on the overall Top 200), but the songwriter continued to emphasize that his mission was more important than his own music. Tomlin's fifth studio album, 2008's Hello Love, was certified gold. It was followed in 2009 by the holiday offering Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship, 2010's And If Our God Is for Us..., and 2103's Burning Lights. 2014 saw the release of Tomlin's tenth studio album, Love Ran Red, which featured the hit singles "Waterfall" and "Jesus Loves Me," and in 2015 he appeared on the Passion release Even So Come. His mainstream success continued in 2016 with a Grammy nomination (his eighth overall) and the release of a new studio album, Never Lose Sight, which reached number six on the Billboard 200. ~ Mark Deming

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