One of the most highly anticipated worship projects each year is Passion. I was fortunate enough to attend the conference for the first time last year in Atlanta as speaker Louie Giglio announced the Passion team's plan to go global. This year, instead of holding a large conference, Passion held a series of mini conferences in the United States with plans to take the movement to numerous countries around the world. It is uncertain how this change in direction will affect Passion's annual live project, but for now, music fans can delight in Passion: God of This City. Compiled of performances from the Atlanta conference and the mini conferences, God of This City is another solid release for the Passion legacy.
Chris Tomlin opens the album with the rousing "Let God Arise." The song perfectly captures the spirit of the album, immediately putting the focus on God and creating genuine excitement. Charlie Hall slows things down with "You Are God," a well-crafted song that many churches are sure to adopt. While Hall is not my favorite artist on the Passion roster, "You are God" is one of his stronger offerings. Passion favorite David Crowder is next, putting his signature mark on beloved hymn "O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing." Perhaps a hymns project could be in his future?
While God of This City begins strong, it also has some weaker tracks. Christy Nockels' "Hosanna" is not a bad song, but it is rather generic, as is her voice. Chris Tomlin follows with "Sing, Sing, Sing." It seems that for Tomlin, his songs are either amazing ("How Great is Our God"), or incredibly bland (the infamously cheesy "Party Song.") Unfortunately, "Sing, Sing, Sing," falls into the latter category. Krisitan Stanfill revives the album with "Beautiful Jesus," a mid-tempo love song to Jesus. Charlie Hall follows with "Walk the World," which is instantly likeable. Fee then appears out of nowhere with "We Shine," a rock anthem declaring, "We are the redeemed. We are the ones who are free." It is nice to turn up the volume a bit, but I cannot help but wonder how the song would have sounded if David Crowder had performed it. Matt Redman makes his first appearance on the album with the beautiful "God of Our Yesterdays." Both quiet and reflective, it is a nice change of pace. David Crowder follows suit with the subdued but incredibly powerful "Glory of it All," one of my favorite songs on the album. Matt Redman returns with two tracks in a row, "Shine," and "Dancing Generation." Both songs are strong, but "Dancing Generation" has more kick. God of this City comes to an appropriate close with "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." Over eight minutes long, this is the signature song of the album.
One of my favorite things about the artists associated with Passion is that the songs they perform always put the focus on God. Some modern worship artists/projects (I won't name names) tend to write songs focusing on man and what God can do for him. With Passion, it is always God who gets the attention. This is evident from the beginning of the album "Let God Arise," to the end, where the album quietly closes with thousands of worshippers simply singing, "Praise God."
Passion: God of This City is stronger than last year's Everything Glorious, and is sure to satisfy those new to the movement and those who have been with it from the beginning. While there are a few weak tracks, it is overall a great project. The use of the word "shine" throughout the album became a little redundant, but there is little else to complain about. It will be exciting to see where the Passion folks will go next.- Review date: 2/4/08, written by Laura Nunnery
Record Label: SixStepsRecords
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