If you follow Christian music at all, you are probably well aware that Chris Tomlin just dropped a new worship album earlier this month. Titled from the bridge of his most popular song at the moment, "Our God," And If Our God Is For Us is a 15-track album, four of which are acoustic versions (I won't be reviewing those, obviously). Chris teams up with several great songwriters to produce an album that is not just to be listened to, but worshiped with. 1. Our God - The most powerful worship song on this record. Hands down. Co-written with Matt Redman, it is almost worth it to buy the entire album for this song alone. I was introduced to "Our God" this summer at a local youth/mission camp called WIRED. And honestly, standing in a room full of young believers singing, "And if our God is for us, who could ever stop us?" at the top of their lungs, definitely beats out this recorded version. But I don't think any worship song can truly be captured on a record - unless it is a live recording. Although, the added string accompaniment was a nice and surprising change.
2. I Will Follow - Already a hit on the radio, this song is destined to be an anthem. Starting out with a catchy rhythm beat on the drums, it follows with a stanza-like chorus, "Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. When you move, I'll move. I will follow You. Who you love, I'll love. How you serve, I'll serve. If this life I lose, I will follow You." Although slightly repetitive, this is great truth for us to remember as believers.
3. I Lift My Hands - I am getting almost a Bebo Norman, "I Will Lift My Eyes" feeling from this song. Maybe it's because I just saw Bebo Norman live in concert a couple weeks ago, I don't know. I like it though. It just sounds like I've heard it before, which could be good and bad. When it comes to worship, we want to be able to sing a song for the first time like we've known it for years. But when it comes to casual-listening, we want to hear something fresh and new. Nonetheless, this song contains lyrics that will ring true both now and forever.
4. Majesty of Heaven - I thought I was listening to the newest Jordin Sparks track at the beginning of this song (ok, I stole that line from this reviewer, haha). Seriously though, I hear this song in the background of a powerful missions video. With children laughing and some weeping. Beautiful.
5. No Chains On Me - Am I allowed to dislike a worship song? *Looks awkwardly around* I don't know, it just sounds all too cheesy and like a bad techno song in some spots. Lyrics such as, "Like a rolling stone, like a runaway train, no turning back, no more yesterdays. My heart is free, no chains on me." I'm not sure what a rolling stone is? But, I don't think I would describe my heart like that.
6. Lovely - This song is... you guessed it, lovely. :) A nice return to the root of Chris Tomlin's music. A ballad song that is easy to sing and describes so beautifully the God that we love and serve! Nothing earth-shattering or new lyrically, but my favorite line is in the chorus that states, "there's so much more you're worthy of."
7. The Name of Jesus - Again, I'm not feeling this song as much. I hate to be a downer when it comes to worship music... but like the lyric in the last song, "there's so much more you're worthy of." Jesus is worthy of more than just three chords and four words. And knowing the great songs Chris has written and recorded, this just sounds like laziness.
8. All to Us - The first 20 seconds of this song are probably the most beautiful on the record. Wow. The lyrics aren't bad either! They speak truth that you can bet will be sung around churches everywhere in the near future, "Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church, let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns, let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives, we believe You're all to us." Amen.
9. Faithful - Co-written and sung along with Christy Nockels, this is another favorite of mine on this record. The bridge is powerful! One that you can worship with right along with Chris and Christy.
10. Jesus, My Redeemer - Here is a great example of an uplifting and upbeat worship song that does not show negligence when it comes to the lyrics! I can hear this being played at my church, Watermark, on Sunday mornings. Especially with that awesome guitar solo after the bridge (Go Greg!).
11. Awakening - Well... it only took the last song of this album, but FINALLY! A song that truly captures the presence and power of our great God! What a beautiful prayer. And of course, there is no great worship song without an awesome bridge, "Like the rising sun that shines, from the darkness comes a light, I hear Your voice and this is my awakening!" Along with "Our God," these are the best songs on the album.
Family Friendly Rating: 1. Strong spiritual influence. No suggestive content. Every family should enjoy listening to this album together!
(1 – very friendly; 10 – mature)