Burning Lights review by Chris Tomlin

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  • Released: Jan 8, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (6 votes)
Chris Tomlin: Burning Lights

Sound — 8
Background: "Burning Lights" is Chris Tomlin's seventh album. It was released on 8th January 2013. The album includes songs previously debuted on the "Passion:White Flag" album. Many of the songs were written with other artists notably: Matt Redman, Martin Smith (Delirious?), Phil Wickham, here is the full list: 1. "Burning Lights" - Daniel Carson, Jason Ingram, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin 2. "Awake My Soul" - Carson, Ingram, Reeves, Tomlin 3. "Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)" - Ed Cash, Scott Cash, Tomlin 4. "Lay Me Down" - Ingram, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Tomlin 5. "God's Great Dance Floor" - Nick Herbert, Martin Smith, Tomlin 6. "White Flag" - Ingram, Matt Maher, Redman, Tomlin 7. "Crown Him (Majesty)" - Matthew Bridges, E. Cash, George J. Elvey, Maher, Godfrey Thring, Tomlin, Traditional 8. "Jesus Son Of God" - Ingram, Maher, Tomlin 9. "Sovereign" - Martin Chalk, Ingram, Myrin, Redman, Tomlin 10. Countless Wonders 11. "Thank You God For Saving Me" - Tomlin, Phil Wickham 12. "Shepherd Boy" - Smith, Tomlin The album peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 selling 73,000 copies. It is one of only four Christian albums to have topped the list. Style: The album is much more diverse than any of Tomlin's other albums. The album begins quite quietly with an instrumental with quiet rapping. The next song sounds similar but suddenly more classic Tomlin with "Whom Shall I Fear" which sounds much more like the previous album; "And if our God is for us..." "Lay Me Down" has Tomlin almost sounding like Mumford with its very folky guitar rhythm. Another sudden change in genre to a very dance sounding song. Back to classic Tomlin again with "White Flag" the latest Passion CD's headline song. A change again with a very traditional song "Crown Him" but with an added bridge. The rest sound more like normal Tomlin stuff.

Lyrics — 9
Every song has strong lyrics but particularly, "White Flag" and "Whom Shall I Fear". Almost all the songs lyrics much the music apart from "God's Great Dance Floor" which I think doesn't work as well as the rest of the album. The track also seems a bit out of place between "Lay Me Down" and "White Flag". Its more like the first couple of tracks. Tomlin's voice is also very suited to the songs. I have to say though Phil Wickham doesn't sound as good on the album as he does other times I have heard him.

Overall Impression — 7
I was a big fan of the previous album: "And If Our God Is For Us..." but I have mixed feelings about this album. I'm not really a fan of the rapping in the first song as it makes it quite difficult to use as a worship song. However I really enjoy; "Whom Shall I Fear", "Lay Me Down". "Lay Me Down" particularly has a good folky sound which I think Tomlin does well. Then "God's Great Dance Floor" is quite a good song but it doesn't really fit on a worship album. "Crown Him" is a very good version of the traditional song. The rest of the songs don't have the same flare as tracks 3, 4, 6 and 7 so I have listened to them a few times but are a bit boring in comparison. With this album Chris Tomlin has gone for a much wider variety of styles than any other Christian artist recently, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Phil Wickham I consider as the most similar artists to him and none have them sound as diverse as this album which I am not sure is a good or bad thing. Best songs on album: "Lay Me Down", "Whom Shall I Fear" and "White Flag".

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    Actually, I quite like the rapping. I'm not very traditional though, cuz Jesus said "we'll worship in Spirit and truth...not Spirit and traditions". To each his own. Not really a very 'guitar' album though.