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Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 6, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

The list of accomplishments for Chris Tomlin is lengthy. With six records, eight No. 1 Christian radio singles, three GRAMMY nominations, 14 Dove Awards, one platinum and one gold album, and fresh off a multi-sell-out US spring tour and 17-city Passion World Tour, the list of first's is small. But this fall, releases the highly-anticipated first Christmas album from Chris Tomlin, Glory in the Highest - Christmas Songs of Worship. Recorded over two nights in Nashville, Tomlin gathered a community of worship leaders and artists to lend their voices to the special live recording. Featuring familiar classics including "Angels We Have Heard On High," "O Holy Night," "Joy to the World", to which he wrote a new refrain, and four new sure-to-be long-time seasonal favorites, Chris desires people to experience these familiar carols as songs of worship. Produced by Ed Cash, and with noted participation by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels and newcomer singer/songwriter, Audrey Assad, Glory In The Highest will be a Christmas favorite for years to come.
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Digital Booklet: Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship
Digital Booklet: Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 6, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sparrow Records / Six Steps Records
  • ASIN: B002MOWA9G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Wallis on October 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I believe that what makes this album strong for some is what makes it weak for others. I see these following components as strengths:
1. Focus on worship rather than nostalgia
2. Introducing new songs to the Church and revamping old ones
3. Doing something simple, yet profound, that will lead other worship leaders to do the same (eg slowing down and quietening down "O Holy Night", much the same as Tomlin did with "I stand amazed in the presence (How Marvelous)")
4. Making this accessible and possible to replicate in the worship setting
5. The live nature of the album
6. Introducing new worship leaders to the Christian community (this is one of Tomlin's strengths - virtually every record of his he introduces a new worship song / leader, eg Laura Story (Indescribable), Bluetree (God of this City))
7. Understanding that power can be found often in the absence of noise (hence the acapella singing etc)
Other than Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" (which is phenomenal), this is perhaps the second most powerful and consistent Christmas worship CD I know. Having said that, I've just started listening to Sovereign Grace Ministries' "Savior" and think that might be up there too. Oh, and Graham Kendrick's "Dreaming of a Holy Night"
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Format: Audio CD
I noticed some of the semi-negative ratings for this wonderful holiday time recording. There are other reviews, though, that I believe nailed it. If you want nostalgic, 'feel good' Christmas music (and I'm a BIG fan of those recordings too, Bing, Frank, Dean, Ella, countless others) go for it, but Christmas is a time to worship 'the newborn King' too and this album is all about worship. It's melodic, rapturous, easy to get drawn into. It's a recording that has Chris' stamp all over it and what's wrong with that? It's his style and his style is pretty darn good! Is it a tad different? Perhaps, especially when placed against the old stuff, but it's still Christmas music, worshipful, thankful, glorious and praise worthy. I give it a solid 5 stars and encourage Tomlin fans and others to give it a shot.
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Format: Audio CD
What do you want out of a Christmas album? Do you want something to conjure up images of snow-covered houses, fires in the fireplace, gifts around the tree, and other "merry" things? Or do you like your Christmas music to point whole-heartedly, single-mindedly to Christ, the meaning and purpose of the season?

If you're looking for the former, you might be a little disappointed with Chris Tomlin's new, live performance Christmas album, Glory In The Highest. There are traditional hymns ("O, Come All Ye Faithful," "Angels We Have Heard On High," "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," "Joy To The World," and "O Holy Night"), but for the most part, the album sounds like a straightforward, live worship album that happens to focus on the incarnation and Christmas.

This approach had somewhat mixed results for me.

I appreciate Tomlin's attempt to bring out the worshipful element in traditional carols, and the original songs he performs are what you'd expect from Tomlin. I have to say, though, that there's very little musically that makes this really a Christmas album. I'm not saying every song needs to have sleigh bells or anything, but there are certain elements that simply are associated with Christmas, and I just would have liked to hear a little more of this.

That criticism aside, however, fans of Tomlin will find lots to enjoy here. He's a worship leader, and he's in his element here, leading a live crowd in Nashville through song after song of worship to God. There's a power in hearing a congregation sing the beautiful "O, Come All Ye Faithful" in unison. Many of these older songs have lost the worship element as they've been sung so many times over the years. Tomlin succeeds in re-capturing the awe in the lyrics of the classics he chose here.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know what is clogging the ears or the hearts of certain other reviewers (actually, I do - it is crystal clear based on their comments), but people, Chris Tomlin is phenomenal. I mean, did they not hear that chorus in "Joy To The World"? Is that new? I've never heard that before. If that's new and Chris's, it's every bit as pure genius as his version of Amazing Grace. If you ask me, it's 10 times better than the original song alone. Chris's gift is phenomenal. He is a modern day David. He is a master musician in every sense. Everything Chris Tomlin produces is a gift from God, people. It is a gift from God to you. Open your ears and your hearts and say, THANK YOU GOD!!!

"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing..." If you ask me, CT is going to be one of the leaders of that choir, helping to lead us just like he is leading this awesome congregation on this AWESOME CD. I mean, think about it. What could be more pleasing to God than to hear a great multitude singing out to Him from their hearts? This album is a masterpiece, folks.
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Several reviewers have noted that this project contains few of the tradional elements associated with Christmas music. As a worship pastor in a modern church for the last twenty years this is what I appreciate about Glory in the Highest. Tomlin's great strength has always been an ablility to craft biblical truth into catchy, singable songs. This project serves the church well by presenting six fresh songs of praise and worship that focus on the incarnation of Christ along with six more modern reworks of traditional songs.

Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) focuses on the prophetic aspects of the Christmas story. My Soul Magnifies The Lord (drawn from Isaiah) and Born That We May Have Life (focusing on the dichotomy of God becoming man) are joyful, uptempo songs of praise. Matt Redman's Light of the World is a solid contribution and Audry Assad's haunting Winter Snow is a jazz-tinged, completely fresh contemplation of Jesus birth. The remainder of the songs are modern worship takes on classic Christmas hymns.

I have very much enjoyed listening to the entire CD over the past Christmas season, but I already have my own favorite arrangements of many of these songs so this part of the project is more a place to glean a few ideas or suggestions rather than slavishly copying Tomlin's arrangements.

Two other points have come up in reviews of this CD: Tomlin is a high tenor - the average congregant is not. Many, if not most, of his songs need to be transposed down as much as two full steps so that men are not forced to sing above a high "E." I do this all the time and our congregation loves to sing Tomlin's songs. Second, Tomlin does tend to simple song structures, but I do not see this as a drawback when viewed in the proper light.
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