Tim Hughes, best known for penning one of the world's most renowned worship anthems, “Here I Am to Worship,” released this week his first studio album in four years.
The Dove Award-winning artist's new album, Love Shine Through, is one of Hughes’ most collaborative project featuring different co-writers as well as guest musicians.
Members of Rend Collective Experiment add their instrumental talents to the album, Jesus Culture’s Kim Walker-Smith lends her voice to some songs, Hillsong United’s Michael Guy Chislet plays guitar, The Listening’s Josiah Sherman does some keyboard work and Vineyard and Verra Cruz’s Marc James is on slide guitar as well as background vocals.
Additional backing voices on the album include Jerry Brown, David Grant, Fay Simpson and Jesus House Gospel Choir.
When trying to sum up his journey during the making of his album, the British artist simply stated “emotion,” for two reasons – the security from working with friends and the experience he has gained as he gets older.
He expressed, “In my walk with God and my expression of worship, I’ve been pushing myself to be more real, daring and honest. I guess these songs are an attempt to articulate that longing for more of God; that belief that He is everything and the desire that in all things, His love would shine through.”
The first track on the new album, “Counting on Your Name,” which is currently available as a free download on Gospel Music Channel, talks about trying to rely on unnecessary things such as love, sex, money when we only have to rely on God, Hughes explained.
“The song captures so much of what faith comes down to; that we’re nothing without God. We try to rely on so many things -finances, health, friendship, love, sex, happiness, whatever – but none of these physical things are eternal. Only God is the one we can really depend on … I hope the song captures a sense of desperation, a rawness, a sense of it being all or nothing.”
Hughes, 32, also commented on how he weighs theology in songs, especially after having studied it for three years.
“I know our songs need to be carefully considered theologically, and I’m all for that – and I’m studying to become a vicar and I value it enough to give up three years to study theology – but at the same time you look at the Psalms and some of the language is so strong, extreme, emotional that it’s actually quite confronting. It’s human, it’s earthy but it connects," he said.
He added that no matter how the audience takes his songs, he hopes that it encourages people to ask the big questions.
“Whether you love these words or struggle with them I think it’s great that these songs are provoking people to think a bit more about the character and nature of the God they worship. Perhaps more like the Psalms do. Great preaching makes us ask big questions with a view to living better lives. Worship can do the same.”