Live Worship from Chris Tomlin
Posted March 20, 2019
I’ve enjoyed Chris Tomlin’s music for several years. For years, I would look forward to the new songs he introduced each January at the Passion conference in Atlanta (and following live album), and also his own solo albums. His 2016 studio album Never Lose Sight was my favorite album of that year. His latest studio album, Holy Roar, was released last October. The album was good, but not great, and I found that it was one that I didn’t go back to listen to a lot after it’s initial release. It was also his first album since 2004’s Arriving to not hit the top of the Christian charts, topping out at #3 and only #103 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart (2013’s Burning Lights hit #1 on both).
So, I found it surprising that Tomlin would release a live album comprised of seven songs from Holy Roar, plus one from Pat Barrett (who is signed to Tomlin’s label, and who is also with Tomlin on the current Holy Roar tour), recorded in front of 200 worship leaders at a small church in east Nashville. Tomlin’s music is best heard live in a worship setting (concert or church) and that’s probably why he wanted these songs to be heard in that context. The album is also a nice tie-in with the tour, which kicked off a week before the album was released.
For the most part however, the performances here are not different enough from the studio versions for most listeners to purchase this new live album. The exceptions would be Tomlin’s live version of Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive’s “Is He Worthy?”, which was released as part of a three song EP ahead of the full album and his “Goodness, Love and Mercy”, which brings more energy than the studio version.
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