Chris Tomlin has best become known for his work as worship leader for the extremely popular Passion conferences. In 2001, Chris set out to release his first solo project, entitled The Noise We Make. With a voice and heart similar to that of David Crowder, Matt Redman, and many other popular worship leaders, Tomlin has been able to engage the passion and hearts of audiences globally.
Not To Us is Chris's second solo project, a tighter collection of 10 co-self-penned originals with the single goal of moving the heart of God. I'm extremely picky when it comes to a lot of worship because truthfully, a lot of it just sounds the same. However, Not To Us has been the first traditional modern worship project in awhile to offer something a little more interesting. The only significant shortcoming I may notice is that Tomlin's voice oftentimes sounds strikingly similar to that of David Crowder's, with his style just a little more upbeat and moving. With Not To Us, Tomlin strays from rehashing songs that are being widely covered and overplayed and successfully offers 10 good new tunes.
The title track, "Not To Us," deters the attention of the listener from Tomlin and his backup trio, as the cover art creatively reinforces this by minimizing the artists' image and features all members but Tomlin looking away from the camera. Tomlin takes a no-bones-about-it approach to what he and his crew are all about as he sings, "Not to us / But to Your name be the glory /... Send Your holy fire on this offering / Let our worship burn for the world to see / It's not for us / It's all for You" Musically, the album does next to nothing new or extraordinarily different, featuring the typical fast-strumming acoustics, vibrant choruses, and synths. However, the lyrical content and passion is there and the well-composed tracks set this project apart from the stacks of worship projects that currently flood the market.
With engaging tracks like "Not To Us," "Wonderful Maker," "Famous One," and "The River," Tomlin comprises a successful sophomore solo effort that despite its frequent "sameness" throughout the record and across the genre, lyrically propels the project into the spotlight. Tomlin and company want you to worship our Creator with him, so what are you waiting for?- Review date: 9/8/02, written by John DiBiase
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