Review of Passion’s “Passion: Let the Future Begin” Album
With the greatest propensity to leave the church, college-age students are the most viable victims to the subtle temptations of the world. Many have just left home for the first time; unequipped to face their new found freedom many could not resist the booze, the drugs, the casual sex and the party life of college life. Thank God for the vision of Pastor Louie Giglio. Instead of watching many of these young adults race along the broad road of destruction, Giglio wanted to bring the Gospel to them. What a better in-road into than to create a party that is saturated with passion for Jesus! Each year at the Dome Stadium in Atlanta, thousands of young adults would gather to hear God's truth proclaimed in word and music set in a partying setting. The live worship music at these conferences are so raved about that it was recorded and released as albums. Many of these records have not only hit the pinnacle of Billboard's charts, but these albums have also functioned as platforms to launch careers of many contemporary Christian artists. Over the years, Hillsong United, David Crowder, Jami Smith and Tim Hughes have all graced the Passion stage. "Let the Future Begin," is the 20th record released from the Passion conference. Like many of its predecessors, this is a live recording of 14 tracks (15 if you get the deluxe version) were recorded over the three-day conference earlier this year.
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Just like last year's "White Flag," Chris Tomlin and Kristian Stanfill get to sing leads on the most cuts. Tomlin, who has led worship at Passion's conferences right from its inception, is also the event's most sought after worship leader. Naturally, he gets to lead the lion's share of song with 5 entries while Kristian Stanfill contributes 4 songs. The rest of the album features Kari obe, Brett Younker, Crowder, Christy Nockels and Matt Redman, each of them getting to sing lead one track each. Since Tomlin gets the largest billing here, let's start with his contribution. "God's Great Dance Floor," a song Tomlin co-wrote with former Delirious Martin Smith, this has slowly been escalating to become a worship classic. And honestly, "God's Great Dance Floor" is deserving; the build up of the song is by itself a work of art. Starting with a laidback ethereal feel before the layers of guitars, drums and electronic beats are worked in, Tomlin surely knows how to work his congregation for impactful worship.
Electric guitars and drums get to work overtime with "Shout." Here Matt Redman (who also co-wrote the song) joins Tomlin with the rowdy 'Shout;" a song that takes the Biblical story of Joshua at the Wall of Jericho and setting it to music. Another teaching moment comes with "Once and For All" where Tomlin sings about eternal security over a rock song that gets a 50s big band touch. Passion conferences have often been used to launch upcoming albums. Kristian Stanfill certainly makes full use of such a large exposure of youngsters to premiere "The Lord Our God," a possible single from his forthcoming album. Despite the catchiness of the chorus, the song is pretty formulaic of today's anthemic rock worship. Much better are the country tinged "Children of the Light" and the thoughtful ballad "Come to the Water."
In a sea of male voices, Kari Jobe's sweet gentle girlish voice is such a welcome. Of all the songs Jobe has recorded, her most well known is still "Revelation Song." Despite the short attention span of her youthful audience, Jobe still takes the time to unravel what is perhaps today's most poetic song about God's revelation through redemption history set to music. Christy Nockels is the other feminine voice; here she delivers a heartfelt rendition of "My Delight is in You." One would wish more female worship leaders would be added in the upcomig years. After all these years, God has continued to bless Giglio and his team of worship leaders as they strive to bring young adults to the small and narrow gate that leads to life. And with a record this good, the future certainly looks bright.
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