My Rating: 4.6 / 5
Without a doubt, Chris Tomlin is a staple in contemporary Christian praise and worship music. Having released classics like "How Great Is Our God," "Holy Is The Lord," "God Of This City," "White Flag," and most recently, "Good, Good Father," he is known for acoustic-focused praise and worship music as well as his beautiful vocals. His songs are known for their basic yet impactful lyrics that stick in the minds of listeners. Tomlin's eleventh studio album Never Lose Sight is certainly no exception, expertly balancing upbeat moments of joy with calmer, gentler seasons of reflection.
The opening track is the ever familiar "Good, Good Father," released by Tomlin last year. By now, the song has become a classic, with its familiar, gentle guitar notes and percussion. Followed by "Jesus," there is a noticeable contrast in tempo and tone that links the two complementary songs. Piano and keyboard notes rapidly accelerate as deep drums and both acoustic and electric guitar, contrasting the slower, calmer tones of "Good, Good Father." Its lyrics celebrate Christ's power and majesty, His sacrifice and holiness. "Who walks on the waters, who speaks to the sea, who stands in the fire beside me?" Tomlin sings, "He roars like a lion, He bled as a lamb, He carries my healing in his hands - Jesus."
Taking on a slightly more western feel, "Home" opens with clapping, stomping, and electric guitar. The instrumentals across the verses play with more minor keys, slowly growing lighter until the upbeat, joyful chorus erupts. To accompany the joyful atmosphere, Tomlin sings of eternity with Christ and the hope that lies ahead. The chorus reads, "I'm going home where the streets are golden, where every chain is broken … where I belong, home." It's a track guaranteed to put the listener in a good mood, reminding them that this world, its suffering, and its pain are a temporary setback compared to eternity with our Savior.
Stepping back from the upbeat tempos, "God Of Cavalry" retreats to gentle, flowing piano notes and scatterings of electric guitar chords. The tone starts dark and saddening, eventually returning to a victorious, comforting rush of acoustic guitar notes and drums through the chorus and bridge. The key theme is Jesus' sacrifice, His death on Cavalry Hill, resurrection, and triumph over death. Tomlin recalls His victory in the lyrics: "By His wounds I am set free, by His blood I've been redeemed … o praise the God of Cavalry." The bridge likewise celebrates His victory while reminding listeners of the depth of His sacrifice. "And if I never lose sight of this place (Cavalry), I will never lose sight of Your grace." "God Of Cavalry" is beautiful, true, and such an important reminder that everything we are centers around the sacrifice of our God.
Closing the album is "Kyrie Eleison." Vocally, the track is the most impressive on the album as Tomlin is joined by guests Matt Maher, Jason Ingram, and Matt Redman, who alternate across verses and bridges. The track starts with almost organ-like sounds, provided by an electronic keyboard and acoustic piano notes. Drums and electric guitar join the voices for the chorus as all four voices join together. The title ties into the lyrics, based on the Greek phrase "Κύριε, ελέησον" (pronounced "kee-ree-yay ay-lay-zon"). Translated, these two powerful words mean "Lord, have mercy." Together with the meaning, the chorus is a plea for mercy and surrender: "For Your Name is great and Your heart is grace, Κύριε, ελέησον, over all You reign, only You can save, Κύριε, ελέησον." In this reviewer's opinion, "Kyrie Eleison" is the best track on the album.
It almost goes without saying that the songs featured on Never Lose Sight are guaranteed to become classics. Undeniably, Chris Tomlin has excelled once again with his latest collection. Covering themes from sacrifice to glory, with joyful celebrations and humble moments of sacrifice, Never Lose Sight takes listeners between praise and worship in honor of the Savior. For longtime fans of Chris Tomlin's work or those new to the worship genre, his newest collection is well worth hearing.