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Chris Tomlin: Burning Lights

Updated on June 27, 2014

Fantastic Praise Music

Chris Tomlin has done it again. With each new album, he seems to raise the bar higher and higher for music of great quality that aids the worshipper in connecting with God. I have several of his albums, and saw him in concert several years back. But upon my purchase of this most recent album, I was truly blown away. I hope you will find that you are as blessed by his music as I am. He is a talented young man, to be sure. But more importantly, he is clearly answering God's call for his life, and it shows in the quality of his work.

(Photo of my copy of the cd, taken by me.)

What I Love About This Album

The melodies of the new songs are ethereal. The quality and genius of Tomlin’s music is, I believe, on par with the biggest and best in Christian music today. “Burning Lights” offers a variety of moods from quieter and more contemplative to bouncy technobeats to lit-up worship that anyone can enjoy. The album even incorporates the sound of the dulcimer and the mandolin in a couple of songs, evoking tradition and images of simpler times. The collection is a unique marriage of reverent hymn style and more modern sounds to prompt a variety of reflections on God. Many of the songs carry a theme of surrendering everything to God and asking for His inspiration (like “White Flag,” of course). Most of the other songs are a rumination on God’s omnipotence and celebration of His love.

Released in 2013

"Burning Lights" was released in January, 2013.

Buy the Album

Burning Lights
Burning Lights

Sometimes I only want a few songs from a given album, but this is really worth buying the entire album. The organization of the songs has a great flow that gets you prepared to praise God, then takes you into a place where you can fully do it. The last song is sort of a tip of Chris Tomlin's hat to his fans. He really and truly appreciates his fans.

 

Chris Tomlin talks about making "Burning Lights."

A Few Notes on My Personal Favorites

Selected Songs From the Album

Tomlin's rendition of "Crown Him (Majesty)" may remind the listener of his or her own traditional church experiences of singing it from the hymnal. It does this for me, but in such a way that makes me feel I am already standing in Heaven in the midst of a choir. Just as Tomlin did with "Amazing Grace" several years ago, he has added a chorus to this beautiful old hymn that complements it perfectly. But at the song's end, the words from the original fourth verse, "All hail, Redeemer, hail/ For He has died for me/His praise and glory shall not fail/Throughout eternity" pierce me with their truth and beauty. I heard those words anew in this version, thanks to a fresh, bright arrangement.

The rhythm and melodies of "Lay Me Down" and "God's Great Dance Floor" make it impossible to stand still. "Lay Me Down" is quickly becoming a family favorite to play in the car. That song, "White Flag," and "Jesus, Son of God" may be familiar to some Chris Tomlin fans.

One of the most brilliant songs on the album is "Thank You God For Saving Me." While the title seems almost too obvious for a Christian song, it knocks me off of my feet. In a message of gratitude to God, it delivers the gospel with love and shines a bright light on its simplicity. This song is simultaneous wide-open adoration and reverence. That's a sweet spot for praise music, if you ask me.

"Awake my Soul" invites God to breathe his inspiration on us and to speak to us with His Word. My first time listening to it, I was mindful of the scripture about the dry bones in the desert coming to life. Of course, the lyrics were doing their job, because no sooner than I had had that thought, that very scripture was quoted in the course of the song.

"Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)" is one of my child's favorites, and mine, too! When I sing along and remember that God crushes my enemies under my feet (per scripture!), I can shake off any fear I have. My child was going through a time of being afraid of the dark, afraid to enter a room alone, of the loud bathtub drain, etc. On the first day we had this cd, this song reminded him that he has nothing to fear with God as his protector. It wasn't until later that I saw the video below and heard Chris Tomlin tell the story of writing this song. It gave me chills. The chorus reminds us that God goes before us, has our back, and is always beside us.

The Burning Lights tour began on February 19, 2013

in West Virginia

Chris tells the story of writing the song "Whom Shall I Fear(God of Angel Armies)"

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Find "Burning Lights" - And some of my favorite songs from the album.

Chris Tomlin's Broad Appeal

And seeing him in a small concert.

A musical worship experience is a very personal thing. We all respond differently to different genres of music. It's rare for one artist to appeal to a variety of age groups. But Chris Tomlin's inspired lyrics and infusion of scripture into his music reach out to the listener. In November, 2006, I attended a ministry weekend at CBN in Virginia Beach, VA. The theme of the weekend was "How Great Is Our God." If you're a Chris Tomlin fan, you probably recognize that phrase as one of his best songs! We were, in fact, treated to two Chris Tomlin concerts just for the attendees of the conference! Since it was on the grounds of Regent University, though, students were allowed to congregate on the steps behind us. And plenty of them did.

The first night, we had a very personal outdoor experience where he played the piano and sang, and one of his band members played the guitar. It lasted a couple of hours, and I was struck by how humble Chris Tomlin was, and how he spoke to us in a very personal way. No rock star personality here, and that's a great thing!

As I walked back to my hotel room, two elderly ladies who had also attended the concert (and obviously thoroughly enjoyed it) strolled in front of me. Both were humming "How Great Is Our God," and I realized how Tomlin's music really appeals to a broad variety of people. From college (and younger) to geriatric. That's fairly unusual for modern artists. My mother, who is in her sixties, also attended the same weekend. She thought Chris Tomlin's personality was "precious" and also loved his music. On our eight-hour car trip home, we listened to the Chris Tomlin cd's we had obtained on our trip. To this day, if I have to drive my mother's car, sometimes I crank it and find Chris Tomlin blasting out of her speakers! I always say, "Mom, you were jamming to Chris Tomlin again, weren't you?!"

Visit Chris Tomlin's website

This is his official website.

Here's my book.

If you like Southern fiction, please give my collection of short stories a try!

Have you heard "Burning Lights" yet?

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      ideadesigns 4 years ago

      I've heard the songs and love them! I like your review and how personal it is. Shows how Chris Tomlin's songs really relate and effect our spirit. Good stuff!