Chris Tomlin – Burning Lights

God’s Great Dance Floor? What is this guy singing about? Chris Tomlin, a Christian artist, had just gone from the classic hit “How Great Is Our God” to this pop dance thing. I had been pumped to hear a new Chris Tomlin album; I was also going to see him in concert. And then I ended up with this fray of songs.

The new album needed to grow on me. It wasn’t an instant click. I listened to the songs many times and finally experienced the music in concert. Tomlin put on an amazing show, bringing it to life. Now I’m happy to say I think this is an excellent album.

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I’d classify Tomlin as a light pop/rock Christian artist. One of his previous songs, “Our God,” had a little more drive. “Awake My Soul” has a similar beat to it. “God’s Great Dance Floor” definitely goes into a dance genre.

He even manages to get in a Mumford and Sons-sounding tune, “Lay Me Down.” I love how diverse he can be, and the rhythms help express the theme of worship.

Tomlin keeps this theme clear in his album. Even though he’s turned a new corner in terms of style, his songs remain catchy and singable. Amidst a fast rhythm, the chorus of “Lay Me Down” still catches on in a heartbeat. I love that even as an artist expresses his individuality, I can worship along with him.

The instruments blend beautifully with the singing. The musicians are fantastic but know their place in a genre where vocals take the lead role. Daniel Carson, the lead guitarist, rocks it with smooth melodies that don’t detract from the singing. As a drummer myself, I liked listening to the beats of Travis Nunn. The guy has chops but still delivers the simple beat over and over in time with the music. Knowing this still couldn’t prepare me for seeing them live.

The Burning Lights tour at the Target Center in Minneapolis capped off the entire album experience for me. The concert was loud, entertaining, and above all, worshipful. Clearly, Tomlin’s goal was to bring out energy and dancing and singing. “God’s Great Dance Floor” finally clicked. It wasn’t just the beat or lyrics, it was the dancing and the praise. And I loved the giant beach balls thrown into the crowd during the reprise.

By witnessing an awesome concert, I had the experience of a lifetime from this album. I would play this music for any of my friends, and I recommend it to just about everyone, spiritual or otherwise. As only Chris Tomlin could put it, “I come alive on God’s great dance floor.”

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