Passion Conferences Passion: Even So Come Cd, Passion “Passion: Even So Come” Album Review

Prime Cuts: My Anchor (Featuring Christy Nockels), Forever (Featuring Melodie Malone), The Awesome God You Are (Featuring Matt Redman)

Together with Hillsong Worship, Bethel Music, Planetshakers and Elevation Worship, the live worship at each year's Passion's conferences have fashioned and patented the sound of modern worship. These worship groups collectively have coveted the lion's share of worship songs that are played across churches as reflected on the CCLI chart. “Passion: Even So Come” doesn't break that perdurable mold. With overwhelming blast of spirited energy — both viscerally as well as emotional— these songs feed the church's perennial need for adrenaline pumping stadium-filling rocks and highly engaging worship ballads. “Passion: Even So Come” is a live recording recorded over various dates at the annual Passion conferences at Atlanta and Houston organized by the conference's founder Louie Guglio. Again it features Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill, Crowder, Christy Nockels and others as lead worship leaders.

“Passion: Even So Come” comes in two configurations: the standard version comprises of 12 new cuts with mostly newly written material. While the deluxe version contains 6 additional cuts by the team this time finding them delving into older worship covers. To be honest, “Passion: Even So Come” does have its moments, but it also has its failings too. Let's start with the positives: Melodie Malone does a powerful rendition of Kari Jobe's “Forever.” Eschewing the clichéd lines, poetry at its dramatic best is expressed most poignantly at the start of the song's opening verse: “The moon and stars they wept/The morning sun was dead/The Savior of the world was fallen/His body on the cross/His blood poured out for us/The weight of every curse upon him.” If you like those worship ballads that starts off slow but crescendos on an Everest peak in terms of a string of long notes and a highly emotional-charged chorus, Christy Nockels faith-building “My Anchor” scores highly. Kristian Stanfill's “Draw Near” is less flashy but no less heartfelt.

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Functioning as a prayer for intimacy with Jesus, “Draw Near” is one of the more reflective songs on the album. Matt Redman maintains his lofty standard with his newly composed “Awesome God You Are” which boasts an insanely catchy melody. While Crowder does rattle the template a little with his edgy “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner.”

But the record is not without its flaws. With the Passion team shooting out records one after another each year, some of the songs have become pretty formulaic. Chris Tomlin, God bless his heart, doesn't sound too inspired here. His two new entries, the title cut “Even So Come” and “Saving One,” don't deviate too much from his tried-and-true formula he has had been using over the last few years. And why does the deluxe version find the team doing cover worship songs that have been done to death. Do we really need another version of “How He Loves” or “The Heart of Worship”? And of all the hymns why is “It is Well” reprised again? Didn't Hillsong Chapel and Bethel Worship recently resurrected this same hymn in their recent projects? And most grueling, why are the women leaders given the slow songs only? Are women's voices so fragile that they can't handle a rocker?

“Even So Come,” in short, does have its merits. But when it comes to being a solidly satisfying worship record, one has to put the brakes.

 

 

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