Release Date: November 11th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Holy Is The Lord (Chris Tomlin)
- One Thing Remains (Kristian Stanfill)
- 10,000 Reasons [Bless The Lord] (Matt Redman)
- Our God (Chris Tomlin)
- How He Loves (David Crowder*Band)
- Healing Is In Your Hands (Christy Nockels)
- Whom Shall I Fear [God Of Angel Armies] (Chris Tomlin)
- You Never Let Go (Matt Redman)
- Amazing Grace [My Chains Are Gone] (Chris Tomlin)
- Better Is One Day (Charlie Hall)
- In Christ Alone (Kristian Stanfill)
- God Of This City (Chris Tomlin)
- Like A Lion (David Crowder*Band)
- Waiting Here For You (Christy Nockels)
- How Great Is Our God (Chris Tomlin)
- The Lord Our God (Kristian Stanfill)
- Let It Be Jesus (Christy Nockels)
- Mercy [From Lift] (Matt Redman)
- White Flag (Chris Tomlin)
- Here’s My Heart (Crowder)
- My Heart Is Yours (Kristian Stanfill)
- God’s Great Dance Floor (Chris Tomlin)
- Let’s Work It Out (From Passion: 2010)
- We Will Carry The Name (From Passion: 2011)
- Raise To Life By The Breath Of A Living God (From Passion: 2013)
- Crushed By Grace (From Passion: 2014)
One of my favourite worship movements of recent Christian worship music history, Passion, borne out of Atlanta Georgia and headed by Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio; have been able to bring to the millions of people around the world, songs of hope and encouragement. With the Passion movement releasing an annual album to bring to us new songs of celebration and worship, this best-of collection (15 songs, 7 videos, and 4 sermon talks) is a must for any Passion fan, or anyone who loves to be introduced to their music, yet maybe unsure where to start. The Passion movement have shown the younger generation (teenagers and university students) in particular a great plethora of songs to call their own when it comes to worship music, and with Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder and Christy Nockels bringing to us great melodies, what can be better? With a great collection of songs that highlights Passion as a ministry throughout all these years, it is a great collector’s item, and a reminder of the relevance and necessity of Passion both throughout the years and in the ones to come.
When choosing a song list to reflect what is to be called a best-of collection, it is often hard to do so- considering that everyone has their favourites, and frankly, you can’t capture a 15+ career in just 15 songs (and 7 videos). Songs are always going to miss out, and on a different day, 15 more songs would be picked and it would’ve been just as strong as these 15 tracks given in this collection of Passion melodies. Nevertheless, we are still presented with a strong song line-up.
Chris Tomlin, arguably the leader music worship during Passion Conferences, lends to us 6 tracks out of 15, with songs “How Great is our God”, “Holy is the Lord”, “God of This City”, “Our God”, “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” and more recently “Whom Shall I Fear” reflecting his musical career so far. And with “White Flag” and “God’s Great Dance Floor” Chris’s contributions in video format, we see a worship leader with a tremendous impact amongst lovers of worship music around the world. And while it probably would’ve been nice to see songs like “Lay Me Down”, “Crown Him (Majesty)”, “Enough”, “Forever”, “Famous One” or “Jesus Messiah” within the song line-up, what this does show is Chris’s class as a songwriter and worshipper, and the fact that no Passion best-of collection will be perfect.
What The Essential Collection has done is to give a good attempt at showing the impact Passion has had, musically and sermon-wise throughout the years, with Chris and his music being at the forefront of what has created Passion, musically, from what they were to who they are now. Glancing through the rest of the album (both audio and video), it’s great to see the likes of Kristian Stanfill, David Crowder, Matt Redman and Christy Nockels being recognised as delivering songs deemed as worthy enough to be the ‘best of the best’. Songs like “Like a Lion”, “Waiting Here For You”, “You Never Let Go”, “10 000 Reasons”, “One Thing Remains” and “In Christ Alone” are all welcomed additions to a collection that seems to highlight newer melodies, while still bringing to us fan favourites like “How He Loves” (Crowder) and “Better is One Day” (Charlie Hall).
While I may have wanted a double disc version of the greatest hits, to highlight contributions by artists like Brett Younker and Charlie Hall to Passion (with songs like “All The Earth”, “Center”, “All We Need”, “Burning in my Soul” and “Mystery” all missing out on what would’ve been a great list if all or some were included), and to bring to the fore some old-but-good tracks like “Sing to the King”, “Knees to the Earth”, “Revolution Cry”, “Not to Us” or “O Praise Him” (ironically, all these 5 tracks aforementioned are from Sacred Revolution); the album nonetheless portrays a group of great songs that will facilitate worship well amongst both the young and older generations alike. With “My Heart is Yours”, “Let it Be Jesus”, “The Lord our God”, “Here’s My Heart” and “Mercy” all being favourites amongst fans recently (and all deserve their video spots), Passion has unveiled a set, albeit a slightly flawed one, but nevertheless a set that will hopefully encourage fans of Passion to continue to remember the influence the worship movement has had over their own lives, and hopefully be encouraged to introduce the movement to whoever they feel God is prompting on their heart to. The four bonus sermons by Louie is a great addition, and while I myself haven’t seen all of the four, I’m almost certain that whomever watches them will be blessed (personally, Louie Giglio is my favourite communicator and speaker).
The influence of Passion over the years has been tremendous, and together with Hillsong, Jesus Culture and Bethel Music, have shaped the landscape of worship within the last 10 years or so. With the focus of Passion primarily towards youth and young adults (university students), this Essential Collection album is something of a momentous occasion- 15 years since Passion began. From 1999 til 2014 and beyond, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio and the rest of the team have delivered some of the most heartfelt, hopeful and encouraging songs since 1990s melodies like “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “Shout to the Lord”. A movement that’ll continue to move from strength to strength, fans of Hillsong or Bethel will thoroughly enjoy Passion and their music. Bring on Passion 2015 I say. Can’t wait for their new album! Congrats to Louie, Chris and the rest of the movement on the milestone. Looking forward to the future and what God has in store for Passion in the months and years to come!
5 songs to listen to: 10,000 Reasons, Whom Shall I Fear, Waiting Here For You, Like a Lion, You Never Let Go
RIYL: Worship Central, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Hillsong UNITED