The list of accomplishments for Chris Tomlin is lengthy. With six records, eight No. 1 radio singles, three GRAMMY nominations, 14 Dove Awards, one platinum and one gold album, and fresh off a multi-sell-out US spring tour and 17-city Passion World Tour, the list of first's is small. But this fall, releases the highly-anticipated first Christmas album from Tomlin, Glory in the Highest - Christmas Songs of Worship. Recorded over two nights in Nashville, Tomlin gathered a community of worship leaders and artists to lend their voices to the special live recording. Featuring familiar classics including "Angels We Have Heard On High," "O Holy Night," "Joy to the World", to which he wrote a new refrain, and four new sure-to-be long-time seasonal favorites, Chris desires people to experience these familiar carols as songs of worship. Produced by Ed Cash, and with noted participation by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels and newcomer singer/songwriter, Audrey Assad, Glory In The Highest will be a Christmas favorite for years to come.
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UPLIFTING, BUT TOO MANY OBVIOUS YULETIDE TUNES| Posted November 30, 2009
Rumor has it that Chris Tomlin always wanted to make a Christmas record, and after spending the majority of this decade tearing up the worship charts, he's finally fulfilling that dream. Though he's obviously a top-notch singer and guitarist, backed by one of the best bands in Christian music, the track listing throughout the entirely live Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship doesn't exactly mirror that innovation.
Sure, songs like "O, Come All Ye Faithful" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" are performed with seasonal enthusiasm and Tomlin's unmistakable vocal stamp, but the arrangements aren't anything extraordinary. That trend continues throughout "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "O, Holy Night," two equally pleasant seasonal standards that are certainly adequate, but don't necessarily astound.
Tomlin is much better off when exploring original ideas, such as adding a new refrain to "Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)," the concept reminiscent of his timeless yet contemporary rendering of "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." The performance revs up toward more interesting endeavors close to the end, including an absolutely gorgeous praise duet with Christy Nockels called "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" and the emotional "Light of the World," accompanied by Passion pal Matt Redman.
Had Tomlin gone in this less predictable direction throughout the first half, this first-ever holiday foray would be an all-around treat, worthy of the acclaim often given to his standard studio CDs. -Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Music Review: Glory In The Highest| Posted November 30, 2009
By Dan Harmeson
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 6, 2009
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5
Sometimes I hesitate to buy Christmas albums. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas. It’s just that people look at you funny when you’re rockin’ Jingle Bells in July. Unlike other music purchases, your investment is limited to two months out of the year (four if you’re my wife). If only Christmas albums were more versatile. Don’t lose hope; Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship by Chris Tomlin solves our quandary. This album is primarily a worship album, secondarily a Christmas album.
Chris Tomlin and his band recorded two live sets in Nashville, Tennessee to compile this much anticipated album. Incorporated in the record are Audrey Assad, Christy Nockels, and worship giant Matt Redman. Besides these guest artists, Chris Tomlin doesn’t present anything new or fresh in his own sound. Glory in the Highest is a collection of unique songs and conventional Christmas favorites. A majority of Glory in the Highest grants us the opportunity to worship our new born King all year long.
Softly beginning with “O Come All Ye Faithful,” there is an instant revelation that this album will not disappoint and the urge to curl up by the fire and take part in corporate worship takes over. Tomlin flavored versions of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Emmanuel” welcome the listener to raise their hands and worship where they are.
After listening to “My Soul Magnifies the Lord”, I found myself singing the chorus in my head throughout the day. This isn’t a song that makes you tap your feet and dance around, but one the transports your soul to a place of glorifying our Lord and King. This is the finest song on Glory in the Highest and deserves to be sung in every church, all year long.
To accomplish fresh new sounds Chris Tomlin relies on his friends. “Light of the World” featuring Matt Redman is a beautiful picture of God sending his son to become flesh and die on the cross, as a Light for the entire world. “Winter Snow” features new artist Audrey Assad. With soulful flavoring, this is the least Tomlin-like track on the album.
This has to be one of the most versatile Christmas albums in recent years. Christmas is about Christ and Tomlin reminds us that a true Christmas song is about God becoming flesh among us. While jingle bells and bellowing of HO-HO-HO have their place, I appreciate that this Christmas album is different. You can tell Glory in the Highest is a Chris Tomlin record from the first breath of vocals. The decision is up to you on how Christmassy each song on this album is, but I guarantee that you will find enough songs to worship our King 365 days of the year.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
GLORY IN THE HIGHEST FOR REAL!| Posted August 16, 2014
The album caught me off guard because I just could not imagine carols being sang in a worship manner. But my oh my, Chris stood out and let God use him to the fullest. I am going to use this album to make our Sunday school kids know that we can worship with christmas carols too. This will also help them to know these carols. Am so grateful for you my brother. GOD BLESS you.
Great for Christmas Worship| Posted February 07, 2011
Having been a worship leader, I know the challenge of Christmas-time and finding a way to incorporate Christmas music into the worship service without losing the depth of worship. I believe this album is the answer to that dilemma. Never before have I seen a Christmas album so masterfully crafted to be a worship album. Chris Tomlin takes even the most basic Christmas carols such as "O Holy Night" and "Joy to the World," along with originals like "My Soul Magnifies the Lord" and turns them into incredible worship songs. I'm not one for listening to Christmas music year-round, but this is the first Christmas album I've found that I would listen to after Christmas because of it's worship value. I can also definitely say that this is my number one favorite Christmas album!
Beautiful| Posted December 28, 2009
I listened to this staggered throughout Christmas day to enjoy it. Fave songs are "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" and "Winter Snow". Great music!
A Beautiful Christmas album| Posted December 19, 2009
I really enjoyed the album. It had a very nice mix of traditional and original christmas music, all of course with the Chris Tomlin sytle. I love that Chris Tomlin stays true to the spirit of praise and worship focusing on lifting up the Lord while also giving his music an updated and modern sound.
personally not impressed| Posted December 18, 2009
When I first heard Chris Tomlin was putting out a Christmas album I was very interested to see and hear it.Upon first listen I was dissapointed,I felt as if it was very watered down.It's not that the album wouldn't be impressive to people but in my opinion it wasn't the best Christmas album out there.I also missed a little Tomlin spin on the songs,such as Family Force 5 did with their Christmas songs.
Glory in the Highest| Posted December 14, 2009
Only the Holy Spirit, though a true lead worshiper like Chris Tomlin, can take those old classics and turn them into awesome songs of worship. The way they are arranged may finally give meaning to someone who has only sung them at Christmastime as a ritual.
I like the simple choral sounds of the songs and the arrangements are catchy!