This past January I had the opportunity to attend the Passion2010 Conference in Atlanta with several of our college students. (You can read part 1 and part 2 of my recap) The conference was really good. I came away refreshed and renewed. While the speakers were excellent, most people are aware of the music that comes out of Passion and the Passion artist. Passion has been putting out albums from their conferences since the mid-1990’s. Since I attended the conference- I was excited to get the CD, but also hoping it washed away the lackluster memory of the God of This City album from a few years back. More after the jump…
There are many standout songs on the CD, as well as a few misses. But this is a solid CD overall. Here are some thoughts on individual songs.
1. Awakening (Chris Tomlin)- The title track and the theme for Passion2010, this was my favorite or second favorite song from the conference and CD. The song speaks of longing for God to awaken our hearts and the world’s hearts. For You and You alone/awake my soul/awake my soul and sing/ for the world You love/Your will be done/let your will be done in me Great song.
2. Say, Say (Kristian Stanfill)- A song pointing to the hope we have in Jesus and encouraging believers to “Sing for the whole world to hear it.” Not bad, but nothing memorable.
3. Our God (Chris Tomlin)- I sang this song with 22,000 other people at Passion and liked it. But, now that I’m two months out of the conference, I am not so sure. Here is a line– 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. As I listen to those lines it sounds like we’re singing a “My daddy can beat your daddy” kind of song. If it were sung in the midst of people of other faiths, it could almost come off as taunting. Do I believe that God is God alone? All powerful? Yes, I do. I don’t know, but this song just makes me uncomforable. It sounds as if we are singing this to someone to try and prove a point rather than lifting up and giving God adoration.
4. How He Loves (David Crowder Band)-Yes! Great imagery. /He is jealous for me/loves like a hurricane, I am a tree/Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy/ Great song.
5. Healing is in Your Hands (Christy Nockels)- This song is powerful. I don’t really need to say more about this- other than Christy Nockels has an amazing voice!
6. King of Heaven-Isaiah 61 (Charlie Hall)- First, let me say that I believe that Charlie Hall is probably the most underrated of the Passion Artist. Tomlin, Crowder, and Redman seem to get more publicity. That said, I am not a huge fan of the song. Charlie begins the song /Oh, Oh, King of Heaven Come Down/ Is God somewhere remote? Somewhere up there that we must invoke God’s name? I believe that God is present with us- with the poor and needy, with the brokenhearted, with the lost- we need to have our eyes opened to see God’s presence among us rather than calling on God to come down from heaven to help us. God is already here!
7. You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)- After Redman’s last CD, We Shall Not Be Shaken, how is this the only song from Redman on this album? I was surprised that Redman was not featured more at Passion because that album was so solid. This song quickly became a favorite of our congregation shortly after his CD came out- /Who, O Lord couls save themselves/Their own soul could heal/Our shame was deeper than the sea/Your grace is deeper still/
8. Where the Spirit of the Lord Is (Chris Tomlin/Christy Nockels)- First, Christy makes this song from a vocal perspective. This is a song longing for the presence of God in our lives- and in the presence of God that we live in God’s freedom.
9. Rise and Sing (Fee)- Fee brings a slightly different sound than what you get in Tomlin, Redman, Stanfill (yes, Crowder is in a league by themselves). A song calling on people who have been touched by God to Rise and Sing. This is a song for believers.
10. Like a Lion (David Crowder Band)- The more I listen to this song, I like it. Crowder sings Let love explode and bring the dead to life/a love so bold/To see a revolution somehow/ The song revolves around this idea that God is alive and roaring like a lion in our hearts. This song ties in thematically with Awakening.
11. Chosen Generation (Chris Tomlin)- Yet another Chris Tomlin song. I am tired of Tomlin songs by this point.
12. With Everything (Hillsong United)- This song clocks in at 8:39! The song calls us to shout praises to God with everything that we have. The last few minutes the band and 22,000 in attendance are singing /Woah-oah-oah/ and it is powerful how even singing in unison like that can communicate what our hearts cannot put into words. It was great to see Hillsong at Passion and great to have them on the CD! Too bad they couldn’t have dropped a Tomlin song and included another Hillsong number!
This is a pretty solid release by our friends at Passion. Not perfect, but solid. One of my biggest critiques of Passion is that all the artist are white, and mostly male. Are there not other voices that could be pulled into the fold to influence a rising generation? Those questions may be for another post!
Do you have the CD? What do you think?