Chris Tomlin returns with his much-anticipated new album "And If Our God Is For Us...", which features the new single “I Will Follow” and a new studio recording of "Our God," the anthemic declaration of faith that has already spent numerous weeks on top of the Christian radio charts. The new songs on And If Our God Is For Us...came from Chris’s experience as a worship leader over the years, and currently at Passion City Church in Atlanta, led by communicator and pastor, Louie Giglio. As the songwriter behind the worship favorites “How Great is Our God”, “Jesus Messiah”, “Holy is the Lord” and “Forever”, Chris continues to write songs that connect people to heart of Jesus and lead them to a greater worship of Him.
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#6 Album Of 2010| Posted December 21, 2010
Tomlin has done something with his fifth studio release that I've been wanting him to do for awhile...break out of the mold of Sunday morning corporate worship. He has one of the best voices in Christian music, works incredibly closely with some of the best producers working today, and it's no fluke that he's penned some of the biggest modern worship songs of our day. I've been waiting to hear what that combination would produce if focused on a pop album, and not a worship album, and on And If Our God Is For Us... we get our closest glimpse yet. It's just a few songs, but I'll take it.
The lead single, "I Will Follow," is an incredible departure for Chris musically. As a worship leader, I find it tough to see any congregation singing this together and I can't get enough of it. It's refreshing to hear Chris take a step in another direction and make music for a larger audience. That said, make no mistake, "I Will Follow" is still very much a worship song, and this is still very much a worship album. The lyrics are all focused directly to God and full of praise, adoration and awe. "I Lift My Hands," "Majesty Of Heaven," "Lovely," "The Name Of Jesus," "Faithful"--these are all fantastic worship songs, but Chris and his team has added a new layer that give these songs greater depth than what they were doing before.
Chris Tomlin is incredibly anointed and his lyrics have brought many into a closer relationship with God, whether it be listening to his music alone in the office, or with other believers during a local worship service. I'm excited to see him push forward musically on this release and create one of his most accessible albums to date.
Chris Tomlin [And If Our God Is For Us]| Posted November 16, 2010 [MAIN REVIEW]
With six records, nine No. 1 radio singles, three GRAMMY nominations, 16 Dove Awards, a platinum and two gold albums to his credit, Chris Tomlin is among the most well-known and influential artists in contemporary Christian music. Time Magazine referred to him as most likely “the most often sung artist anywhere,” as it is estimated that over 40 million people sing his songs in church each week worldwide. In addition to having sold more than 3.1 million albums and over 3.7 million digital tracks, Tomlin also continues his role as worship leader at Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA.
My favorite Chris Tomlin songs have generally been the new live recordings found on the Passion worship collections, going back to "We Fall Down," "Enough," "How Great Is Our God" and "God Of This City." The Passion: Awakening collection released earlier this year started off with the great new Chris Tomlin worship anthem "Awakening," which I hope will soon be a song I'll be singing with fellow believers. "Awakening" has a great worshipful chorus which ends with "Let Your will be done in me," which is the cry of my heart as well. As that song starts the Passion collection, the new studio recording ends the new Chris Tomlin album And If Our God Is For Us. “Awakening,” co-written with Reuben Morgan, is a great song and is my favorite song on the new album. The album starts with the new studio recording of the #1 hit song “Our God,” the anthemic declaration of faith co-written with Matt Redman that has already spent numerous weeks on top of the Christian radio charts. The bridge of the song is the basis of the album title. The “passion” of these worship songs when sung live among believers seems a bit overwhelmed by the musical production on this album. “I Will Follow” is already a hit song co-written with Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan and will certainly follow in the pattern of past radio success like “Jesus Messiah,” “Made To Worship,” “Indescribable” and “Your Grace Is Enough.” In addition to the studio recordings of “Our God” and “I Will Follow,” the first half of this album has an electronic musical style similar to newsboys and Stellar Kart. Although this is a popular trend in music right now, those other artists have consistently made those types of albums, but not Chris Tomlin who has always had more of a guitar-based full band sound. The remaining first half of the album includes “Majesty Of Heaven,” co-written with Matt Redman, “I Lift My Hands,” co-written with Matt Maher, which reminds me of “Unchanging” and “No Chains On Me,” co-written with Matt Redman, which reminds me of “Your Grace Is Enough.” They are all good songs, but don’t connect with me quite as much as some of his past hit songs.
The second half of the album is my favorite as the songs switch to more of a piano-based full band rock musical style and they are more reflective. “Lovely,” “The Name of Jesus,” “Faithful” and “All To Us” switch over to more of what I’ve come to expect from Chris Tomlin musically. They are prayerful and worshipful songs that I can imagine singing with fellow believers, especially “Faithful” which was co-written and sung with Christy Nockels. “All To Us” is an epic worship song (over 6 minutes long) that reminds me of “I Will Rise” which was also co-written with Matt Maher. All 11 songs are praise and worship and that’s the basis for the past radio and sales success. There’s nothing different or overly creative about this album other than some additional electronic music. Musically, many of the songs on this album are all a bit similar and very heavily produced rather than going with the Coldplay-type guitar riffs used by Hillsong UNITED. The musical trend from the Passion albums has been more of a Hillsong style, and Hillsong UNITED even appeared on Passion: Awakening. I was a bit surprised and a little disappointed by some of the studio recordings although they will probably resonate with radio audiences.
For me, I would have liked one or two songs that gave me a glimpse of what Chris thinks about besides praising God. Since he’s getting married this year, perhaps I’ll get that on his next album. His approach to this album is a bit less a view into his personal worship thoughts and creativity and a bit more into collaborating with others who seem to be leading the way in today's worship song writing as these songs were all co-written with Reuben Morgan, Matt Redman, Matt Maher, Jason Ingram and others. I don’t mean to heap on any undue criticism however I’m not hearing the heart of Chris Tomlin in any of these songs. My favorite worship songwriters are Joel Houston (“From The Inside Out”), Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood (“Hosanna”), Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding (“Mighty To Save”), Robbie Seay (“Song Of Hope”), Tim Hughes (“Beautiful One”), Phil Wickham (“Cannons”), Todd Agnew (“My Jesus”), Jason Ingram & Bebo Norman (“I Will Lift My Eyes”), Paul Baloche (“Your Name”), John Mark McMillan (“How He Loves”), Brandon Heath, Bart Millard of MercyMe and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. All of those songwriters have personally poured out their hearts in their songs, such as in MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine,” “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns and “I’m Not Who I Was” by Brandon Heath.
My main issue these past few albums since the brilliance of 2002’s Not To Us is that Chris seems to have been transformed from a worship leader to a radio singles fixture with the studio albums. It seems to me that “Enough” was the last truly personal worship song penned by Chris Tomlin. Then, great songwriters like Brenton Brown (“Everlasting God”), Laura Story (“Indescribable”), Matt Maher (“Your Grace Is Enough”), Bluetree (“God Of This City”) and even John Newton (“Amazing Grace”) have been the “personal” writers behind the radio success of Chris Tomlin. Tomlin has 5 of the top 10 most played songs in churches. Without a doubt, Chris will always have a place in CCM history. His singing voice is as good as ever, the lyrics are biblical (although a little bit predictable), and this album probably won't win any new fans but should please most fans of Chris Tomlin.
I intend to take nothing away from my respect for Chris or his past accomplishments when I say And If Our God Is For Us just doesn't affect me as his past albums have. Certainly “Our God” and “Awakening” are great songs. Personally I prefer the live versions from the Passion: Awakening album. Maybe that’s just the way I prefer to worship along with Chris. We sing his songs at my church weekly and I connect to most of them personally. “Awakening” might actually be my favorite overall song by Chris along with “Enough,” “Unchanging,” “Holy Is The Lord,“ and “Jesus Messiah.” If you like those songs, then you should enjoy this album, especially “Our God,” “I Will Follow,” “Majesty of Heaven,” “Faithful,” “All To Us” and “Awakening.” Expect to be singing most of these songs at your church soon.
another great album| Posted January 05, 2011
This album unsurprisingly met my expectations easily. Another great album from one of the leading artists in Christian music. Our God, the most well known song on the album was not a disappointment. It wasn't the only great song, though. All To Us was among my favourites. Other songs I enjoyed include: I Will Follow, I Lift My Hands, Lovely, and Faithful.
This is not an album to miss! If you want to add to your worship times, I highly reccomend this!
Chris Tomlin "And If Our God Is For Us..." Review| Posted November 25, 2010
Earlier this year with the release of the Passion: Awakening live album we were introduced to a few songs to be included on acclaimed worship leader Chris Tomlin's seventh studio album. One of those songs included the smash hit radio single "Our God", which is the inspiration behind Chris Tomlin's brand new album, And If Our God Is For Us... This album is exactly what long time fans will expect from Chris, and this could have both a negative and positive impact on listeners.
The album opens up with a new studio recorded version of "Our God". This version doesn't differ too much from the live version, apart from the addition of heavy strings. This song immediately introduces us to the message and direction of the album, with its worshipful lyrics in the chorus. "Our God is greater/Our God is stronger/God you are higher than any other/Our God is healer/Awesome in power/Our God, our God/. To be honest I liked the live version better because it just had a more passionate and triumphant feel to it, but I still acknowledge that live versions are very hard to convert to studio versions.
Following "Our God" is the latest radio single "I Will Follow". This song is more a personal statement from Chris rather than a "church worthy" worship song. Chris sings about how he will follow God till the end and serve him in everything that he does. "Where You go, I'll go/ Where You stay, I'll stay/When you move, I'll move/I will follow you/How you love,I'll love/How you serve, I'll serve/If this life I lose, I will follow you/ The vocals of Chris are excellent on this song and the chorus is surprisingly catchy. This song is also my favourite off the entire album.
"I Lift My Hands" slows down the fast paced momentum with some beautiful piano parts and melodies. Like most of Chris Tomlin's songs, it slowly builds up into heavy drums and passionate melodies. This song isn't the most complicated song with lyrics like "I lift my hands to believe again/You are my refuge, You are my strength"but it still reflects the immense talent that Chris possesses.
"Majesty Of Heaven" has an interesting pop beat throughout the whole song, which is something I least expected. It also features great backing vocals from Christy Nockels, which can be heard clearly with about thirty seconds remaining in the song.
The most creative song off the album is "No Chains On Me", a fun and upbeat song with an electronic/dance beat. I was pleased to hear some more diverse sounds on this song. However, to some people the dance beat might come across a little weird because it's a whole new world of sound that Chris rarely ventures near.
The next half of the album settles down into the signature Chris Tomlin soft worship sound. "Faithful" is a passionate song about how faithful God is towards his people. The feature that makes this song so great is that Chris Tomlin does a duet with Christy Nockels. I don't know what it is about female vocalists, they just make a song magic. "Faithful and true is the name of the Lord/You are faithful God/".
Featured on Passion: Awakening earlier this year, "Awakening" is a great closer to this album. Like "Our God" the live version had more electricity than this version but is still the same song that calls out to God, "For the world You love/Your will be done/Your will be done in me".
I mean no disrespect for Chris when I say that once again he has produced eleven songs that sound almost exactly the same as his past albums. This album just didn't affect me as much as his others and I think he hasn't produced an excellent album since Arriving. While there was some musical creativity on some songs such as "No Chains On Me", the lyrics were too cliché. However these songs are hugely appropriate for church and I'm sure you'll see them on your sunday morning setlist soon. If you are going to buy this album, I recommend that you only buy a few songs off iTunes, and not the whole album. The few songs you should buy are "Our God", "I Will Follow", and "I Lift My Hands".
Not his best...| Posted November 17, 2010
Chris truly gets my props for being one of the leaders of the modern worship scene. However, "And If Our God is For Us..." is not his best. He does have 3 outstanding albums in "Not to Us," "See the Morning," and "Hello, Love," so I guess 3 out of 6 (I am not including his Christmas album and his live CD) ain't bad. He made his stamp with "The Noise We Make" but he blew out of the water with "Not to Us;" just in my humble opinion. As for this release, it is one that you can pick and choose. Like I'd take "I Will Follow" (though it is kind of getting worn out by now), "Our God," "Majesty of Heaven," "Lovely," "Faithful," and "Jesus My Redeemer." That's not even half the album; hence, the three stars. I just doesn't have enough "pop." (Not in the sense of the genre of music.) I admire his heart and his passion for God, but sometimes his writing is mediocre, shallow, and more horizontal than vertical. Which I believe was the case with some of the songs on the album. His heart truly shines in a live setting, so don't miss out on seeing him live. With that said, maybe after seeing these songs performed, I may have a different opinion. As for now, this is where I stand.
Eh...| Posted November 16, 2010
I like Tomlin. I'll say that- first off.
However, I don't really like this album.
It lacks creativity by stealing the rhythm patterns of popular songs right now (I will follow and Majesty of Heaven) sounds like a Jordin Sparks track. - so it already seems trite. OR it sounds like a Hillsongs song written by Brooke Fraser (All To Us)
I like Our God- the strings added to it are great- really add a nice touch from the live song. Also like The Name Of Jesus
If there were no lyrics to "No Chains on Me" it would be a musically interesting song- but IF you listen you can hear the same melody and chord structure as New life worship's "I AM FREE" same lyrical theme as well.
It has about the same appeal to me one of SonicFlood's recent worship albums.
And If Our God Is For Us By Chris Tomlin Album Review| Posted November 27, 2010
This is a awesome album from Chris Tomlin. One of the best albums I have heard from him. I loved all of his albums but I have to say this is one of my most favorite albums from him. I loved his studio versions of Our God and Awakening which he did live versions on the Passion Awakening album. I also loved the other new songs on this album including the songs where Christy Nockels sang on them. It was good to see Christy Nockels on different songs as she is a amazing singer and she adds her amazing singing voice to this new songs on the album. I just love that Chris Tomlin had Christy Nockels singing on those songs. If your a fan of Chris Tomlin or love Chris Tomlin's music check out this album as you will love it as much as I do. Check it out as soon as you can.