With each new record, I continue to strive to create songs that will help people voice their worship to God. I hold this as a great responsibility when I begin to think about what the overall recording will look like. Worship is a massive word with a very broad scope, but in the end, it is very simple. It is love! It's our response in love to our great God who loved us first. As well, it's our love for others.
Hopefully these songs will renew in some way or stir up again your love for God and His people.
It's pretty exciting these days to see the Church awaken to the portion of it's calling where it serves the "least of these," where we carry those less fortunate than ourselves not just in a special place in our hearts, but in our finances, our energy, our life. And the motive and heart behind all of it is love. That's it. More simply put, worship is "love with legs." It's on the move! It's not just words and melody.
Paul says so well in 1 Cor. 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. Butthe greatest of these is love.
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Solid 4 Stars for Hello Love| Posted October 27, 2008 Chris Tomlin is easily the most over-exposed artist in the history of Christian music. He has 5 of the top 25 CCLI most played songs, including award-winning How Great Is our God, Holy Is The Lord, Indescribable (written by Laura Story) and Your Grace Is Enough (written by Matt Maher) from 2004's amazing and multiple-platinum selling album Arriving, which despite the cover songs, is truly a 5 star effort.
To me, See The Morning was a slight step down, more of a 4 1/2 star effort and again included a cover song Everlasting God (written by Brenton Brown) and a hymn re-write Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).
Hello Love is the newest album, and using my same logic is another slight step down, more of a rounded up 4 star effort (I score it 78% out of 100%). The fact that my favorite songs from the album are also cover songs God Of This City (written by Bluetree) and My Deliverer (written by Rich Mullins), makes it hard to truly compare to my favorite early Passion (and Tomlin original) songs We Fall Down, Forever and Enough. No doubt Chris will always have a place in CCM history, however even the new original songs Jesus Messiah, I Will Rise, Praise The Father, Praise The Son and Sing, Sing, Sing don't quite connect with me like his earlier work. Solid 4 stars, singing voice as good as ever, biblical (although a little bit predictable), and probably won't win any new fans, but should please most fans of Chris Tomlin.
Chris Tomlin [Hello Love]| Posted September 24, 2008
Chris Tomlin is probably one of the most well-known contemporary Christian worship leaders and musical artists of this decade. His music has been making it into churches and on to stages across the country (and all over the world) since his first album, The Noise We Make debuted in 2001. His latest CD, Hello Love, will debut on September 2, 2008, and fans will not be disappointed.
The musicality of this album seems more subdued than some of his previous offerings. However, lyrically, nothing is lacking. The music is still all about bringing glory to God, and calling His people to worship. In a press release, Tomlin said, “The thought I’ve had running through my head is that it’s time to introduce ourselves to love again. People need to be reminded that what we’re here to do is to love God and love people. Worship is a relationship of love. It’s our love of God and our love of people.”
“Sing, Sing, Sing” (no, not the famous swing song by Glen Miller) starts off the album with a tone that immediately sets up the listener for a time of worship. “Sing, sing, sing /
And make music with the Heavens / We will sing, sing, sing / Grateful that You hear us / When we shout Your praise / Lift high the name of Jesus.”
One song you may have heard already is a single that has been played on radio stations for a few weeks now. “Jesus Messiah” has already made its way into many church worship services. The song focuses on Jesus as Savior, and proclaims His greatness over all. It is humbling to hear Jesus uplifted. This song is unique because so many contemporary worship songs focus on us as the worshipers instead of on God as the One to be worshiped. It’s about how much we love Him and what we do and say. “Jesus Messiah” brings everything back to God.
Some other the album highlights include: “My Deliverer,” “God Almighty,” and “You Lifted Me Out.” The songs I expect to hear in church in a few weeks include: “God of the City,” “Love,” and “Exalted (Yahweh).”
The last song on the album is “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” The poetic lyrics speak of never walking alone, because we are with the one who cheers us on in darkness, and keeps us from falling. “And when my spirit clothed immortal / Wings its flight to realms of day / This my song through endless ages / Jesus led me all the way…” It is a good way to wrap up an album about love, because it points us in the direction of the One who loves us enough to never leave us.
It is easy for fans to connect to the music because the chorus is always simple, always meaningful, and always beautiful. The lyrics are honest, and uncomplicated. God is big and awesome, but being with Him does not have to complicated and scary. It can and should be an experience of a deep and wonderful relationship in which you are safe. You are totally loved by the Savior, and what better way to express your love for Him than to worship in song?
In a press release, Tomlin talked about why his songs appeal to so many. “God’s given me a gift to connect people with God,” Tomlin says. “So I try to write songs with those people in mind. I try to open worship up to everything it can be, not just my personal preference, but what can it be for a person sitting in an office, or a mom driving her kids to school, or a teenager in high school? How can I bridge all those generations and try to grab something that can help them worship and communicate with God?” To summarize, he puts the hearts of all kinds of people into his music.
From the success God has given Tomlin with his music in this world, I believe we can say that his method is working.
Review written by: Liz Zelinski
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This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org. Click here to visit ChristianMusicReview.org today!
Hello Love| Posted September 12, 2008
Chris Tomlin is the poet laureate of worship music in the first decade of this century. Bold? Over-hyperbolizing? Not really. With five songs currently in the top 25 used by the American church, it's undeniable. One reason is that his music is completely straightforward. No strange turns into musical experimentalism or adventurous melodic strains. This is what works for congregational offerings today, and Hello Love is Tomlin's best effort, yet.
With Ed Cash's attention to production detail and Tomlin's clear emotional binding to the offering of his songs, worship leaders and radio stations both have something to celebrate. On a nobler plane, as far as worshipers go, there are at least four tunes that hearing them feels like you are hearing a song already etched on your heart. Tomlin calls us all to join him in lifting "the name of Jesus" in the major-chord, kick-beat driven, hip-pocket, instant emotion rouser "Sing, Sing, Sing." Then there are the others you already know, "Jesus Messiah," the radio single that is likely already on your set list, and "God of This City," you likely heard this one on the most recent Passion release by the same name. This powerful anthem was written by the techno-worship outfit Bluetree for the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland, and Tomlin will now bring it to the attention of people around the world, undoubtedly helping it become the cry of thousands of churches for its anointing and proclamation God's redeeming power.
Since his Arriving Tomlin has continued to push his music beyond the realms of just Christian easy listening and into smoldering cries of exaltation that speak to communities around the world. He is emotionally glued to the meaning of his music, and Hello Love proves that he will continue to bless God's people for years to come.
TOMLIN MELDS THE FAMILIAR WITH NEW ELECTRIC GLIMPSES| Posted September 29, 2008
You already know what to expect: Slowly expanding worship anthems for the church to sing all through the next few years. Some explode out of the gate, while others contemplate. But they all yield themselves to a full-throated, hands-raised worship experience. Tomlin has it mastered, and multiple radio hits and Dove Awards confirm his ability.
Hello Love, Tomlin’s fifth studio LP, furthers this impressive discography, yet leans away from previous efforts just enough to give us future glimpses of what could be. Lead single “Jesus Messiah” has already taken off at radio and is a welcome change from feel-good choruses. Instead, the song relies on a simple retelling of Christ’s accomplishments on the cross and gives a solid theological grounding to celebrate.
The studio takes of “God of This City” and “Sing Sing Sing” offer predictable production. The listener, if already used to the live versions from the most recent Passion worship album, will prefer the energetic counterparts. The Watoto Children’s Choir offers a steady supply of uplifting, jubilant glee on “Love,” and the tribal pulse provides a brief respite between two decent-enough ballads (“I Will Rise” and “Praise the Father, Praise the Son”). The final build/chorus on “I Will Rise” realizes one of Tomlin’s most chill-inducing moments, which is quite a statement, considering his already impressive collection of songs.
The slight twist comes with the plugged-in sounds of a few tracks in particular. The surprising alt-rock electricity of “With Me” dazzles, showcasing Tomlin’s ability to stretch beyond the standard piano/acoustic-driven fare. A stellar back-end track, it just might become the one we point to if Tomlin continues toward this impressive direction. The trend persists on the “jump-with-me” feel of “You Lifted Me Out.” This and “Sing Sing Sing” seem an obvious live one-two punch.
Tomlin is simply at the top of his game and rides the wave through another album. And the inclination toward a heavier sound receives our applause. –Matt Conner
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CMCentral.com. Click here to visit CMCentral.com today!
Without anything new, Tomlin is still the top of the City| Posted December 19, 2008
What did Chris Tomlin says about his New CD, Hello Love? ‘With each new record, I continue to strive to create songs that will help people voice their worship to God’. That’s nice, but it’s getting very old when each new record contains 90% of what was in your last effort. Tomlin, arguably the most prestigious worship artist in Christian music, has been flooding the air waves with hit after hit of his music and he will do so again with his latest album. Interesting though that not all his songs are his to begin with; the song that quickly pushed him to popularity was “indescribable”, by Laura Story, and another huge hit was “my chains are gone” which is, of course, to John Newton’s hymn “Amazing Grace” with some added lyrics. “How great is our God” was a very solid hit for him but “how can we keep from singing” and “made to worship” were too generic, sounded too much alike lyrically and musically; plus they are repetitive. Now his latest hit, “Jesus Messiah”, is a song destined to top worship music charts and be a favorite in Churches, but in reality is just another repetitive basic worship song that offers no new insight into the Christian life or that spins any new prospective that would be the mark of a good songwriter.
In fact, Hello Love is essentially the same way. Tomlin’s vocals are strong in the upbeat “sing, sing, sing” but the song is as complex as the word ‘sing’ and it’s just as repetitive as the title (‘We will sing, sing, sing/And make music with the heavens/We will sing, sing, sing’). Despite the Switchfoot Esq. style of intro and more aggressive method of pop “you lifted me out” just an energetic tune which is so-so and manages to be a bright spot. Tomlin incorporates a choir on a few songs like “exalted”, and "Love (with Watoto Children’s Choir)" which does add a tiny bit of much needed diversity on an otherwise boring and simple album. Both “I will rise” and “All The Way My Savior Leads Me” start as ballads before picking up as the song goes on. The very emotional “God of this city” will probably be a future smash single but Tomlin puts more ‘Greater things have yet to come/Great things are still to be done’ than is even close to necessary. Anyone who says that Hello Love is a musical accomplishment or that originality shines is, I’m sad to say, is wrong.
Writing doesn’t seem to be an impressive feature on Hello Love either, as originality is very low, and actual themes are scarce. Aside from feel good lyrics in "Love (with Watoto Children’s Choir)" (‘Love is the answer/Love will find a way/When we love one another /It's a brighter day’) “Jesus Messiah” does make one of his best song writing moves (‘Who knew no sin/That we might become His righteousness/He humbled himself and carried The Cross’) which is pretty pathetic when you think about it. Avoiding clichés was never Tomlin’s strong spots in lines (‘you’re the Rock on which I stand’ and ‘Your love rescued me’) as well as themes “you lifted me out” and “God almighty”. “I will rise” is an odd collaboration of old hymns, new chorus and scripture; while the silver lining is a good job weaving them together the truth is more like the word incoherent.
The music and lyrics were so dull that during the first pass on the CD I skipped parts of his long songs to find something worth writing about. While Hello Love isn’t burdened by other writer’s song like previous albums have been in the past, nothing new is offered. Many have speculated that Chris Tomlin’s music is strictly for giving Churches new (such as it is) material, but that’s not entirely the case for I doubt the many people who put Hello Love onto Billboards top ten were specially aiming for their Church when they bought the CD. One thing I do know is that despite what critics say there is very little which indicates a fall for Tomlin on the singles charts and as one of the highest esteemed worship artists today.
Chris Tomlin's "Hello Love": A Review| Posted September 02, 2008
by Camaren Stebila
It’s always tough to approach a worship album for review. While the music, instrumentation, and album structure can be criticized, it remains difficult to do the same for the lyrics, depth of emotion, and passion on the disc as they can be perceived as inherently present, intrinsically true, and undoubtedly good. As good critics know, as opposed to coming across snobby, shooting mere opinion as fact, it is better to acknowledge one’s own biases and personal preferences, so feel free to disagree about Tomlin’s latest.
Among today’s worship crew Tomlin has received the most polarized reviews. While his audience swoons over his awe-inspiring singles which have become staples in most American church’s worship sets, critics often remain slightly skeptical, judging his albums on a more holistic basis as opposed to the singles (see “How Great is Our God” and “Made to Worship”). His latest “Hello Love” may escape said criticism.
While the album gets off to a relatively slow start with “Sing Sing Sing” the disc as a whole is relatively energetic, passionate, and authentic. Tomlin’s voice has been brought “up front,” and drives the music just as much as the background instruments.
by Camaren Stebila
“Love” is a memorable African stylized track, featuring a children’s choir singing in their native tongue, and “Praise the Father, Praise the Son” is a rather simplistic song which feels slightly less “Tomlin” and more traditional contemporary worship. (Oxymoron? Think Sonicflood). It is without a doubt that many of these songs will be incorporated into church’s worship sets. The most awe-inspiring, “God Of This City,” has already made its way into rotation, with others in line.
The only drawback to “Hello Love” is that it seems to lose a bit of its initial flare after first listen. Although it’s likeliness to be enjoyed a second and third time is certain, it’s not an album that could be spun multiple times in one sitting. Regardless, if you’re a Tomlin fan “Hello Love” was made for you. If you’re a worship leader, “Hello Love” was made for you. If you’re the typical contemporary worship fan “Hello Love” was made for you. However if you’re a music enthusiast who listens to new music on a daily basis, “Hello Love” will be best utilized for it’s more popular songs, on a great worship playlist.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
Tomlin Delivers Again| Posted September 10, 2008
This is by far Tomlin's most energetic offer yet, even though this CD cools rapidly by the ending songs. However, Tomlin delivers again. Tomlin is calling us to put aside our differences and come back to the cross; back to Jesus. And he drives this message home on Jesus Messiah, among other songs. Great to listen any time, but especially if you feel distant to our great and awsome God.
I just got it| Posted August 04, 2008
I just got it and i love it....His music is always a blessing to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesomes cd ever!!! stupendous cd and I think everyone should get this cd!!!!!!!!!!
Great| Posted December 08, 2010
I love the Album. I own one now and one of my favorite of his songs' were on it called "I Will Rise" I love hearing Chris and his band. I hope they keep making music far into the future I will always love his music and I always have.