New Chris Tomlin Album Draws, Inspires Praise

Chris Tomlin's latest album is continuing to pick up rave reviews since its release last week.

"Chris Tomlin again brings us a spectacular album that will definitely introduce us several hit singles on Christian radio very soon," commented Francis Petruziello for the Cleveland Leader.

"Tomlin is simply at the top of his game and rides the wave through another album," raved Matt Conner for CCM Magazine.

"And the inclination toward a heavier sound receives our applause," he added.

Hello Love, the fifth studio project for the Christian music legend whose songs are sung in churches across the nation and world, was released Sept. 2 and features 12 songs, including the album's debut single "Jesus Messiah," which reached No. 1 on R&R's AC Indicator not long after its release on June 13. "Jesus Messiah" was also the biggest ever add date for a single in Christian Radio history.

"I've heard Chris say that he feels his calling is to give voice to the worshipping church," commented Peter York, president of the EMI Christian Music Group/Label Group, in a recent announcement . "It's a calling he remains faithfully committed to in his concerts and on his recordings, and it's a continual pleasure and privilege to watch his songs inspire people of all cultures and bring the hope of the gospel to millions of people throughout the world."

Evangelist Louie Giglio, who founded the Passion movement, which Tomlin is a part of, said he "couldn't be happier or more proud of this release."

He said the "twelve amazing songs" were "marked by the familiarity of the worship leader we have come to know and love while reflecting a tireless approach to his craft that breathes fresh and new."

"That's a phenomenal combination, and a rare trust," Giglio stated in his web log last Thursday. "By God's doing, Chris is writing the songs that are literally giving voice to the church around the world. With Hello Love, there are brand new moments of musical inspiration, yet many beautiful and easily accessible paths that will lead a worshiping church to anthem the One they love."

According to Tomlin, Hello Love boils everything down to the simplicity of the word "love," which he said is a very common word that can be used to say something as simple as "I love ice cream" or as deep as "I love my wife."

"But when we [apply it] to the way we live our life and what it means to be followers of Jesus, we have to look at it from the perspective of loving the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your strength, but also, to love your neighbor as yourself," he told CCM Magazine. "[Those ideas apply] when you talk about worship as well. When you talk about worshipping God, it's all about love – God's love for us and our love for Him. And our capacity [for] worship is usually pretty equal with the way we love each other."

Though Tomlin's sales have increased exponentially the past few years, the Christian worship leader and songwriter from Texas refuses to feel pressured to top himself with each new release.

"I just try to be me and hopefully people will continue to be inspired by these songs," he told Billboard magazine. "I'm always blown away by how much people love the music, and it's incredible to me. I'm always thankful."

Tomlin's "How Great Is Our God" was named worship song of the year at this year's Dove Awards and is ranked No. 1 on the Christian Copyright Licensing International chart, which monitors the use of songs in churches. Such Tomlin songs as "Forever" and "Holy Is the Lord" are also mainstays in the chart's top 10.

Most recently, Tomlin celebrated the RIAA Platinum Certification of his 2004 release, Arriving, and the RIAA Gold Certification of 2006's See the Morning.