I will not buy a full Passion album for one reason…Chris Tomlin.
I have what you call Chris Tomlin fatigue. “Over saturation” and “over value” can only go on for so long and I cannot take much more. I appreciate what he does. His heart and passion is evident. I think he has a unique ability to lead others in worship that few posses and thousands connect with (which is why I think most will not agree with this post). His contribution to the worship music scene is vast (Can you believe it’s been 10 years already?). But I have to be honest: I cannot take much more.
Why? Mainly because I think his music has become uncreative, over produced, and just plain cheesy.
Here are a couple of reasons why I have Chris Tomlin Fatigue:
- Uncreative: at some point you have to move past G C D. Sure he has written some powerful songs like How Great is our God, Indescribable, and Our God, but 90% of his songs are the same cord structure and word structure wrapped up and presented in different ways.
- To Much Corporate Worship: An argument that I hear from people often is that Tomlin writes in a way that churches can sing his music. I guess that is okay. But if you have been paying attention to worship music lately, he is one of the only guys that is still doing that. Go and listen to Hillsong United’s latest album, or check out any song by the David Crowder *Band, or how about John Mark McMillan’s stuff about Skeleton Bones and Carbon Ribs, I do not hear very many churches defining these as “corporate worship”. Yes I agree churches need to have songs that they can sing, but we do not need mass produce songs that are easy, quick and make sure to follow the structure of verse chorus verse chorus chorus bridge chorus.
- Is It About The Money or the Music: Make sure you read what I am saying here, I do not think Chris Tomlin is in it for the money, not at all. But I do wonder sometimes if he writes for Judy (that is what I like to call the christian soccer mom) that listens to christian music all day? That music is safe, it doesn’t push the bounds of lyrics, or use words like whore to describe the church (hey Derek). No that is more about providing music that your kids wont ask you questions about.
- It Is Predictable: I know that every single passion album will have a plethora of Tomlin songs, cheesy strings, and moments where I just shake my head and hit the next button. I always hope that I will be surprised by something new, but it just seems to be a repackaged version of previous albums before with different words (usually stolen from king david) and a hook.
I say all of this to simply lay the challenge out there to everyone, are you filling people with fatigue?
The best part about music is that there is a ton of it to listen to. You do not have to just accept what I like, you can choose to listen to what you want to listen to. I am sure you can sit here and pick apart every little thing that I do and call me out. I understand that and do not want to be that guy that thinks he has it all figured out. But I do care about the church, about music, and about the message of the Gospel. This is a call to everyone to continue to push creativity, to look for new ways to express the love of God and to challenge the mundane.