|Photo: Jesus Freak Hideout|
I have grown to love and anticipate the annual Passion Conference albums and as always I am not disappointed by their latest offering, Even so come.
Perhaps it’s the thousands who gather along with the Passion worship team, to worship God together. Perhaps it’s the team itself, all musically diverse and spiritual giants, with a real gift for penning songs that laud God and create a space for the Holy Spirit to move. Or maybe it’s the fact that the tracks are usually very catchy and easy to get pulled into. Whichever way, I always feel a sense of expectancy when worshiping along to one of the albums.
In case you didn’t know, the Passion Conference is an annual event, founded by Louie Giglio in 1997. The Passion gatherings are aimed at young adults, more specifically college students, with the intention of fostering a spiritual awakening among them. The gatherings usually host passionate speakers, like previous speakers Francis Chan and Lecrae, and also feature intimate worship lead by the Passion band. Because of the success of the initial conferences and the growing popularity of the worship sessions, Sexsteprecords was formed to represent the core group of artists performing at the Passion gatherings. Those artists include Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and the Passion band. The conference has birthed 17 albums to date, with ‘Even So Come’ being it’s 6th album to peak at number 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.
The opening track of the album happens to be the title track and is a fitting album opener, co-written and lead by Chris Tomlin. The song speaks about us the church, as the bride waiting on her groom with eager anticipation. In true Tomlin style, the song has a soaring chorus and bridge, that has clearly been written with the congregation in mind, and rightly so. Tomlin also helped to pen the other 2 tracks that he features in on this album: ‘The cross of Christ’ and ‘The saving One’ which is a melodious mid tempo anthem with a chorus that is quick to catch and easy to sing along to.
I quite enjoyed newbie, Melodie Malone’s version of ‘Forever’ – the Easter anthem recently made popular by Kari Jobe. Malone’s version is pretty much the same as Jobe’s and I like that she kept it simple, climbing as the song did and not adding on too many special effects or vocal acrobatics. This track’s message is powerful enough as is!
If there is one track on this album that I would encourage you to listen to, it would be ‘Lift your head weary sinner (Chains)’ by Crowder. The song is a combination of country, rock and soul and is a refreshing, unexpected addition. I am most impressed by it and love the message of the song: a call to sinners to “let the chains fall” and come and find their rest in the Lord. My first impression of the song was that it sounds like something Jake Hamilton would sing. I really like!
Another track that caught my attention was Brett Younker’s ‘The way’, a cool dance song that features a more electronic, synth sound. Younker is another new addition to the Passion lineup and he definitely does this track justice. It made me think back to the Passion 2014 dance favorite, ‘God’s great dance floor’, since it has the same feel and energy.
Passion regular, Kristian Stanfill, features on 3 tracks: ‘Shout Hosanna’, which is a typical Passion praise song, with a catchy hook and lyrics that are easy to learn; beautiful worship song‘Draw near’ and ‘You found me’ which he co-wrote with Jason Ingram. The latter is definitely a heart song for me and I especially love the chorus that says: “Now I have/A song to sing/I was lost/And Jesus you found me!” I love that!
Legends, Mat Redman and Christy Nockels, only feature once on the album. Redman with worship song ‘The awesome God you are’ and Nockels with ‘My Anchor’ – a song which can also be found on her latest release, “Let it be Jesus”. ‘My Anchor’ is delivered in a way that Nockels is known for: heartfelt and emotive, with big and powerful moments in all the right places.
All in all, I really enjoyed the album. My only disappointment is that I did not get my hands on a Deluxe Edition, since it features unplugged versions of a few really powerful classics such as ‘How He loves us’ and ‘Heart of worship.’
I appreciate that Even So Come features some of this generation’s most acclaimed worship leader’s and that it boasts a diverse song selection. As with all Passion releases, this offering captures the heart of a generation hungry after the presence of God and that translates into what we, the listeners, receive when we listen to it. I give it 2 thumbs up!
This review was originally written for and published in Gateway News