09
May
08

Chris Tomlin debuts new song off new CD Hello Love

Chris Tomlin and company have a new CD hitting the shelves around September this fall and I don’t know if I’m excited or bored. WOAH man simmer down now, where’s the love!?!
Yes I know that Chris Tomlin is the poster boy for many worship leaders out there and apparently he’s tapped the phone lines of angels in heaven and is capable for crafting singable worship songs that need no introduction. I’ve also been listening to him since 1997ish and his every year CD release has me full to the brim, despite my love for Daniel Carson’s yummy Edge style guitar paying. I will say, See The Morning was a much needed follow-up to Arriving for me and I’m hoping, HOPING new release, Hello Love can top it as well.

Regardless, Jesus, Messiah was debuted on …klove…yesterday morning and again, not sure if I’m excited or bored.

  • YES – slow build to incredible crescendo then quiet drop off to embrace the meaning of the lyrics
  • YES – singable melody that you can catch on to the 1st time you hear it
  • YES – well produced and thick sounding
  • YES – piano + guitar + strings
  • YES – God focused lyrics

The song, as indicated by it’s title, is all about who Jesus is. Chorus is something like:

Jesus, Messiah, name above all names
Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven
Jesus, Messiah, Lord of all

The downer is the prechorus is:

Love so amazing, love so amazing

I swear if I hear any combination of the words love + amazing = nausea
The biggest unexpected downer in the mix is the 80s cheese backup vocals in the bridge and last chorus. I’m tossing it up to “trying new things” because this is quite unexpected from him.

Again, I’m feeling that Tomlin’s progression as a musician is an overall great thing but something less as a voice of the collegiate culture and more of the mainstream modern church. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m sure people are going to LOVE this song (and new CD) and I may even be among those people! But as my progression moves from church worship leader to “That Youth Guy” my musical taste is drifting farther and farther from Mr. Tomlin šŸ˜¦

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35 Responses to “Chris Tomlin debuts new song off new CD Hello Love”


  1. May 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hmmm… interesting. I haven’t been able to get a listen yet. Looking forward to it.

  2. May 9, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    it is really quite interesting. as a matter of fact, the only reason i bought his last cd is because it was bundled with the not to us album (i lost my first copy).

    for p&w music, eventually this will happen since everything is based from the truths of the Word. unless, he starts writing a more contemporary/secular type songs that still talks about christian life experiences. what really bothers me is the style of arrangements/harmony/melody. they are all the same. i actually liked one of his single from the Narnia album (You’re The One). It really sounds fresh.

    we have to wait what else is in the album before we can really pass judgment though.

  3. May 9, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Right on Rhoy, I was a fan of the tune off the Narnia CD as well. I’m not sure what you’re implying will eventually happen? The formulaic rhythm trap that the successful artist falls into once he gains popularity šŸ™‚

  4. May 10, 2008 at 7:49 am

    i was referring to the lyrics being almost the same for every song. and yeah the “formulaic rhythm trap” šŸ˜‰

  5. 5 blogsology
    May 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I’m trying to be tactful but I feel like Tomlin’s slow musical growth is starting to become evident, especially as other bands and artist (like Hillsong United) push the boundaries and evolve. As the “poster boy” for contemporary (there’s no way he’s “modern” anymore) worship, I think he has a responsibility to push the craft forward because he’s got the cache to do it. There’s a reason why we’re not excited about the new Passion CD anymore – we’ve heard it all before! I saw Radiohead in concert last Monday night and, as a songwriter myself, I found myself thinking “Are we just being lazy as worship song writers?”. RH did such incredible things musically that I started feeling ashamed of our reluctance to try and do extraordinary things with worship music. Enough rambling – how about some INNOVATION?

  6. May 11, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    one thing that i would disagree with the comment is regarding Hillsong United evolving. the best album they ever had was their 1st and (arguably) their 2nd but everything that came after sounds exactly the same. same arrangements, same line of lyrics, same musical style. i was actually excited to hear Hillsong’s last Christmas album coz they really mixed it up and showcased their God-given musical talents.

    btw, you can’t compare radiohead with praise/worship song writers. i listen to different christian artists and they sound much better than radiohead. so really, this is apples to oranges.

  7. May 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Ya’ll are totally hijacking my next post I’m working on but I suppose I’ll jump in this: Rhoy I’ve got to agree with blogsology. Most Praise and Worship is lazy. As I cited earlier, if I hear amazing + love together one more time I’m going to puke. It’s like when “awesome” was used to describe everything from hamburgers to God. Seriously, is there no other word to describe God’s love than “amazing?” Tomlin has settled into a Dove winning formula šŸ™‚ I suppose somebody’s gotta do it! Hahaha.

    As far as United, I’ll give you United We Stand as basically a super charged upgrade but same stuff as Look to You but dude…ALL OF THE ABOVE! Come on! There are tracks on there that you could drop into secular radio and not know the difference! I was totally stoked by that! And talk about breaking the lyrical monotony!

    That’s my .02.

  8. 8 Julie
    May 12, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I heard “Jesus Messiah” on K-Love and LOVED IT! Another beautiful worship song by Chris Tomlin & band. I trust this song will sung in worship services across the country and beyond. It is a beautiful song of love to our precious Saviour Christ Jesus! Can’t wait for it to be released.

  9. May 12, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah Julie, no doubt about it, this song will catch on and be sung quite easily like most Tomlin tunes. It’s just the same is all šŸ˜¦ I accidentally picked a couple Tomlin tunes one time for a worship service and at practice felt like I was singing the same song over and over and over again. The same great song šŸ™‚ but the same song. Like a great deep rut šŸ™‚

  10. May 12, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Woah…overuse of smileys šŸ™‚

  11. 11 GJ
    May 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Okay guys, if you are tired of Chris Tomlin don’t listen to him. There are some of us who still enjoy his music. The thing with his music is it doesn’t have to have amazing lyrics and outstanding melodies. He just writes songs that anyone can sing along to to worship God. It’s about God and so what if he decides to use “amazing” instead of some new, trendy word. When you’re worshiping God it doesn’t really matter.

  12. May 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    GJ, I’m sorry, I tend to forget that there are people who aren’t in the process of leading worship who come across this blog and participate. I don’t keep that in mind enough. I bet this seems a bit arrogant and unhealthy to “critique” worship. It’s not my intention. Nor is it my intention to be trendy.

    I feel though, that its not about trendy words or phrases but again it’s like I scold my students about all the time. “Awesome” is used to describe the weather, their pizza, their newest video game, the footprints a bird makes in the mud, a fart, salvation, forgiveness, music, the Trinity, twitter, God’s miracles…see they can’t all be “awesome!” We’re just too lazy to come up with categorical meanings for what we’re seeing. It’s the same thing for those who use cuss words for adjectives. The misuse of the word offends me more than the offensive language!

    God’s love truly is AMAZING! But when we say that in every single song over and over again it begins to loose it’s “amazingness” (for me at least) and as a worship leader when every song uses a G-D-Em-C formation and uses the word “amazing love” in it then we’re singing the same song over and over and over again just with a new title.

    I think we have a duty to challenge ourselves with this art that God has given us through music. Tomlin is a gifted and talented leader of worship. I encourage him to stretch his lyrical giftedness however for his songs. We have an incredible and vast language, let’s use it!

  13. May 27, 2008 at 1:38 am

    As a musician, songwriter, and ‘lead worshipper’, I sure hope that those people criticizing Tomlin’s songwriting are writing the songs that they say that he’s not writing. I’ve written a number of songs – none of which I could use in corporate worship. Coming up with songs that are easily learned, hard to forget, and theologically correct isn’t easy. I’ve written a song called ‘Unoriginal,’ which is about how hard it is to come up with words and phrases to describe God. Sometimes it seems like we’re saying the same things over and over – yet He still accepts our worship. Remember the angels in heaven that sing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty’ over and over, day and night, never stopping. I doubt God really gets irritated and asks them to come up with something a bit more ‘theological.’

  14. May 29, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    woah! i thought that this thread was closed, apparently not šŸ˜¦

    GJ, i do love Chris Tomlin and I still listen to a lot of songs that he wrote. We are not boycotting him because he did something bad, its just that his songs does not appeal to us anymore. this is not to say it does not appeal to the congregation, because i am sure it does. the issue is that a musician, its kinda stuck in a rut with the same old lyrics/melodic style. but if we have to sing it in church to lead people in worship, then we will sing it and still worship God. its not like i’m just going to sit in the corner while the congregation sings.

    Dan M, this is why you and I are not professional musicians. because we simply don’t have the gift to write songs that is unique and fresh. now Chris Tomlin has the gift, and I know he has more in store, he just chose not to and stuck with his “formula”. maybe the producer is forcing him to finish a new album, who knows. but when he’s at his best, he is the best. and i think he is the most influential contemporary worship leader of recent years (and yes, in my opinion, more than Hillsong).

  15. May 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    woah! i thought that this thread was closed, apparently not šŸ˜¦

    GJ, i do love Chris Tomlin and I still listen to a lot of songs that he wrote. We are not boycotting him because he did something bad, its just that his songs does not appeal to us anymore. this is not to say it does not appeal to the congregation, because i am sure it does. the issue is that a musician, its kinda stuck in a rut with the same old lyrics/melodic style. but if we have to sing it in church to lead people in worship, then we will sing it and still worship God. its not like i’m just going to sit in the corner while the congregation sings.

    Dan M, this is why you and I are not professional musicians. because we simply don’t have the gift to write songs that is unique and fresh. now Chris Tomlin has the gift, and I know he has more in store, he just chose not to and stuck with his “formula”. maybe the producer is forcing him to finish a new album, who knows. but when he’s at his best, he is the best. and i think he is the most influential contemporary worship leader of recent years (and yes, in my opinion, more than Hillsong).

  16. 16 NickB
    June 2, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I just heard the new song “There is Love” that will also be released on the Hello Love Album. While I didnt really enjoy Jesus Messiah as much, the song “There is Love” is INCREDIBLE. It features an African Childrens choir and it is very uplifting and has a great sound!

    REALLY looking forward to hearing more…

  17. June 4, 2008 at 12:29 am

    That’s very encouraging Nick. I’m sure there will be golden nuggets here. There always are!

    Wow, Rhoy I missed your followup but yeah! Right on.

  18. June 6, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Good review on this song.

    “Love + Amazing”

    Haha!
    I actually made myself stop saying the word “amazing” because everyone overuses it! I found words like-fantastic, splendid, outstanding-to name a few.

    BTW: I am a worship leader and listen to absolutely zero Chris Tomlin. I’m such a freakin rebel.

  19. 19 jon
    June 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    You guys think too much.

  20. 20 cb
    June 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I haven’t quite figured out, yet, why we need to critique worship music. Honestly, when it comes right down to it, all of our words will be insufficient when trying to describe God. So, if we chose to, we can find fault with everything.

    When an artist writes a worship song, it just might be a personal expression of what’s going on in his/her own heart. I’m thankful that they are willing to share those songs with us (at the risk of being criticized), because I am so blessed by their gift!

  21. June 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Sorry cb, I forget not everyone reads through all the comments before commenting. The need is because worship music is just that: music. And for me and many others here who are worship leaders or musicians its something we surround ourselves with. As with any other genre or occupation or passion, you constantly examine it in order for it to grow and improve. I have a personal agenda because for far too long Christian music has…let me be honest…sucked. That’s no longer the case but will continue to be thought of us stale and outdated if we do not continue to strive to excel with the gifts and talents God has bestowed us.

  22. 22 cb
    June 21, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks for your response, worshipcity. I did read through the previous comments, but they left me puzzled. I agree that we should continually strive to excel with the gifts and talents God has bestowed upon us. I also think that we should look for those things that are excellent and worthy of praise and think upon those things.

  23. June 21, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Good call cb. Thanks for joining in the discussion as well.
    I’ve been following Chris and co. since roughly 1997. I think I may be too close now to the situation. I really do love the guy. Its a hard balancing act to comment: 1) Music that connects people to God and 2) Music that’s creative and original. I find Chris excels at #1 but most of us feel that we’ve “heard it all before” when examining #2.

    However, I’ve been gushing over Coldplay’s Viva La Vida and I’m hearing people criticize it sometimes the way I criticize Tomlin šŸ™‚

  24. 24 cb
    June 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Worshipcity, do you share your concerns with the artists personally, or just amongst yourselves and on line?

  25. 25 linda
    July 18, 2008 at 2:48 am

    hey guys….if music lifts you to praise the King, then listen; if it doesn’t, find something else…:”Jesus Messiah” happens to lift me to that “secret place” in Psalms 91…I am sad to see you get all critical and edgy and really high minded about Tomlin’s music, choice of words, etc.
    Your critiques remind me of the world’s daily political rebuttals! Don’t fall into that trap….just don’t listen if it doesn’t move you and let it move those who it does! I am one whose heart is moved and I am not “just one of the nonthinking masses” because I do….sort of a subtle inference if you do like his music and lyrics. Being critical is a very subtle hold of the dark side if you ask me and of course you didn’t..blessings on you anyway!

  26. July 18, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Linda, and I imagine many others who read this and get offended and don’t comment, please read this and take it in the most sincere and authentic way possible (truth and love!)
    I am super stoked that Jesus, Messiah has touched you and lifted you up. It’s proof that God transcends style, culture, lyrics, etc. And He must! He’s God.
    However, please do not ever think that striving for excellence, creativity, pushing the envelope, “being critical” is of the dark side. How do you think we’ve arrived at a time where worship music is categorized by bands leading with guitars, electric guitars, using loops and tracks, drums, bass, and keys, etc.? It was a thought out process of redefining and examining how worship through music connects with a group of people. Chris Tomlin has been instrumental in bringing this style to the forefront of the worship industry. We want him (and others) to continue.

  27. July 18, 2008 at 3:49 am

    CB – wow I just saw your comment. Sorry there. I don’t know any of these artists personally so I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve been in the Passion camp since the late 90s and have talked with many of these artists over the years at conferences and such and we’ve discussed things like this. Jesse in Chris’ band is awesome and real candid with discussing this sort of thing. I’ve talked with Charlie Hall many times, etc. Doubtful any of them remember me šŸ™‚
    Those who have blogs, I frequent and add 2 cents when appropriate though.

  28. September 2, 2008 at 4:49 am

    I must say one person who has toed the line of secular and p&w well is Corrinne May – youtube search her… =D

  29. 29 Albert
    October 8, 2008 at 4:11 am

    By which standard, are u saying that “we need to excel with the gifts and talents God has bestowed us.”

    It’s by your standard and it might be different for different people.

    Chris Tomlin would have done his best for God.

    Also, “Love so amazing” might be the best word to describe from Christ Tomlin’s view.

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