Release Date: April 16th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- This Is the Day
- You Never Let Go (feat. Tammi Haddon)
- No Other Gods
- Never Runs Out
- Already Loved
- Fighting For Me
‘…the idea of HERE…I have a hard time, and I watch other people that have a hard time being present, and not just being present within themselves, or others, but being present in the presence of God. I’m always future tripping on something or practising worry, or I’m practising whatever I practice, just where my attention is on other things. But I think Jesus’s invitation is ‘Just be here with me in this moment. If you wanna walk in my presence, then I’m right here. I’m not like a year from now, I’m not a month ago, I’m right here in this moment’. And how do I just have my attention on Him in the midst of life when I’ve got 20 kids, or when somebody cuts me off on the road. How am I actually present with Jesus, joining Him in my day…that’s really my hope and my prayer, so I write songs and I actually call them prayers, because they’re prayers I wanna pray in the gathering when the church is gathered and when the church scatters for the rest of the week. These are the things I want to pray and hopefully, other people get to pray it with me…the other side to this [being present in the presence of God] is a danger that we just say ‘well then, we shouldn’t do any of these other things [the things that disctract us], but we have to live and get out of bed, and work and do all the things that we do so what’s it look like to be present and join Jesus while I’m at work? In the mundane, in the crazy chaotic? What’s it look like to join Him in those moments? I think we could say ‘let’s just be with Jesus all day’ but that doesn’t even work. I’m everywhere all day long, I’m being pulled in a thousand directions…I think Jesus is here and present in this moment and I don’t invite Him into my world, which is what I did most of my life, was to invite Him into my own world like ‘Jesus, would you be with me today as I ______’, and I think that’s a really backwards prayer…it’s like we don’t say ‘Jesus be with me today’, it’s like ‘how do I join You Jesus in what’s already going on’…’ Since his diagnosis of incurable cancer 20 years ago (and given 5 years to live back then), here stands Tim Timmons, worship leader, songwriter, heartfelt minister, and all round funny guy, who, after his highly successful Provident Label Group projects Cast My Cares in 2013 and Awake Our Souls in 2015, released children’s album Who I Am in 2017. While we as a site didn’t review that particular album (even though we did review Awake Our Souls, and his stand-alone single ‘I Belong’), Tim’s 2017 album was full of anthemic and upbeat melodies, fit for worship in the church, and especially, gearing to teenagers and pre-teens as these songs were breaking down Biblical and theological statements into songs that younger people could understand. Now in 2021, four years later, Tim is back at it again- with an 8-track album Here, a sort-of-sequel if you will, to Tim’s 2015 album, kinda like carrying on from whence Tim’s 2015 album left off.
On the verge between the musical soundscape of Matthew West meets Shawn McDonald meets Jason Gray (all of whom are very different in terms of musicality and all styles that can be found on Tim’s new album); we are called into the realm of 8 songs, 8 melodies written for the church, 8 prayers you or me or anyone else could pray. The concept of the album is this- that we ought to be present in each and every moment in our lives that we face, and that as we look at our lives from birth to now, we can see that even in the times where we believe God wasn’t doing anything to pave our lives and stories in such a way that we want, He was nevertheless still working in us. Life isn’t happening somewhere off in the distance- it’s here, and to experience now, in all of its good and bad times, is to allow God to use circumstances we may not necessarily like, to mould us into better people that have more resilience, patience, empathy, and perseverance in the long run. While not as flash or even publicised as other new worship album releases this year (if Phil Wickham’s album had a publicity rating of 10, then this new album from Tim has publicity 1), these songs are very much needed in today’s social landscape as any other. Releasing on the same day as projects from Tauren Wells and Anne Wilson; Tim’s honesty, not just in HERE but throughout this album as well, makes him possibly one of the most underrated male worship artists I’ve heard ever since Lincoln Brewster back in the day. From the worshipful prayer ‘Here’ that calls us all to be present in the moment, to the declaratory ‘You Never Let Go’ with featured artist Tammi Haddon; this is a must for any fan of Tim’s previous work, or any fan of modern pop/worship, in a similar vein to Chris Tomlin, All Sons and Daughters and Aaron Shust.
Standing at 8 tracks in length, Tim’s new album HERE is a joy to listen to, and while I felt that 8 tracks were a little too short for a four-year wait (why not a track listing of 10-12 songs?), Tim’s brand-new collection of songs are compelling and vibrant, passionate, and enthusiastic, as Tim’s new collection of worship songs are some of the most energetic, I’ve heard all this year. The album starts off with ‘This is the Day’, an upbeat track that Tim uses to declare that our days are to be new each and every day, that every time we wake up is a chance to live out our days again with promise and expectation. Musically similar to MercyMe’s ‘Best News Ever’, ‘This is the Day’ encourages us to undertake new things and believe that we will be impacted by new challenges and fresh new perspectives and ways of looking at things, because of the fact that we are entering in a new season of life (when ‘This is the Day’ was released, it was the beginning of January 2021, and thus the theme of the song was reminiscent of something like a ‘new years resolution’ that people undertake year after year after year). Following on from that is Tim’s first single from Here, ‘You Never Let Go’. Sung with gospel artist Tammi Haddon, Tim’s new song presents this theme of God never letting go of us, even if and though we’re in situations where we believe that He’s absent from our lives. Thematically similar to Matt Redman’s song of the same name, both Tim and Tammi deliver a powerful song of declaration, a song that can hopefully be declared in both difficult trials and joyous moments of celebration. As Tim explains himself about the story behind the song, ‘…in the writing session where Tammi Haddon, Stephen Cashwell, and I wrote this song, all of us started sharing that there were hard things going on in each of our journeys. I had just had a cancer appointment before that and they had told me that my tumors had not shrunk when they thought that they had. This song literally became our prayer. It’s this great invitation to remember again that we still have a song to sing, that God is in control—He will never let go…’
Throughout the rest of the album, Tim’s songs continue to usher in a sense of worship that is not dependant on our circumstances; but are still delivered in spite of them. Title track ‘Here’ is a great radio-friendly melody that asks us as followers of Jesus to just sit and be in the presence of God, to bask in His glory, and be present in what He wants us to do. To sit and be present in whatever Jesus wants us to do, can seem to us like us wasting time, because we’re always on the go, we always believe we have better things to do than to just ‘be’ with Jesus, because…life is just busy, right? ‘Here’ encourages us to abandon all of our worries when we’re in the presence of Jesus, to not be concern about the not-yet, and to be right where God wants us to be- in the here and now. ‘No Other Gods’ is an acknowledgement to our Father in heaven, that because of all that He has done for us in giving us His Son Jesus for our sins, we can’t help but declare that we will put no other gods before Him. This song is a reminder that ‘gods’ can be as interchangeable as idols, and more often than not in our lives, we can involuntarily place people and things above Christ and occupy the spot that only He deserves. ‘No Other Gods’ can hopefully encourage us to see the things that God has done in our lives in the past, that He is indeed faithful and worthy of our devotion…and we need to ask ourselves- who are we placing in the #1 spot that God deserves to be in? ‘Roar’ places us all in a mindset that as long as we’re still breathing, there is reason enough for us to exalt God above everything and everyone. It is in light of what we know to be true about Christ, that we can and should Him praise, and declare His authority over all of the darkness that seems to take a hold of our lives in whatever capacity. Tim also delivers the powerful songs ‘Never Runs Out’ and ‘Already Loved’, the former (‘Never Runs Out’) being a thank-you song to God, a reflective 5-minute anthem about how God’s love doesn’t ever run out, and that we should be not surprised when we understand that God gives His love so freely to His creation; while the latter (‘Already Loved’) is a rousing declaratory power-anthem that allows us all to delve into the truth of how we ought not to earn God’s love, because of the very fact that we are already loved, no matter what. God loves His creation, and it is up to us to respond to such grace and unmerited and undeserving love given to us, through the sacrifice of Christ as a ransom for our sin, as we comprehend fully that though we were to have paid the price of sin, Jesus on the cross in exchange for our freedom is reason enough to prove to creation, His undying love for each of us, even for people who may believe they don’t even deserve it. Tim then rounds out the EP with ‘Fighting For Me’, a rousing moment of realisation that God fights our battles, and is for us even before we even believe that someone like God is for us. He fights alongside us, with us, and on the behalf of us, and such a song as this, sung so vulnerably by Tim, is reason enough for us to believe His words and declare alongside Him, proclaiming that ‘…here I am with open hands, surrendering my circumstance, oh, I will rest in knowing that You’re working for good oh, here I stand, praise on my lips, surrounded by the evidence, that You are here, You’ve always been, You’re working for good…’
Tim Timmons’ new album, HERE, is just as much of a breath of fresh air (or rather more specifically, new worship songs and arrangements that make us all excited about new songs full of sound biblical truths coming into the church) as his albums on Provident were. From “You Never Let Go” and “Already Loved” to “Never Runs Out” and the title track, each song is uniquely different and thematically overarching, as we are presented with the fact that God has given us this present moment to live for a reason. We are to surrender our worries of tomorrow and our regrets of yesterday, so that we can live fully present in the now and enjoy what God has to bring our way. Regardless of what we face, we can have the hope that Christ knows our circumstances, and uses them, good or bad, to elevate Himself and shape us all into the godly men and women we can be as we continue to trust Him more with our lives and the people in it. Fans of artists like Meredith Andrews, Chris Tomlin, Aaron Shust and All Sons and Daughters will thoroughly enjoy HERE. Dropping on the same date as projects from artists like Anne Wilson and Tauren Wells, Tim’s new offering is just as enjoyable, maybe even more so, than his previous albums Cast My Cares and Awake Our Souls. Well done Tim for such an enthusiastic album, and one of my favourites within the earlier half of 2021!
3 songs to listen to: Here, Never Runs Out, You Never Let Go
RIYL: Meredith Andrews, David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, All Sons and Daughters, Aaron Shust