For the past 19 years Passion has been one of the frontrunners of the modern worship movement around the world. These conferences have helped launch the careers of such world renowned worship leaders as Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Christy Nockles, and Kristian Stanfill, just to name a few.
Their latest release, Salvation’s Tide Is Rising, cuts the fat of previous albums by trimming the number of songs to just 10, compared to the 18 or so songs from the past few releases. For the most part the album stays pretty true to previous form. However, this release is much different from its predecessors not only by lowering the number of songs, but also by exchanging the energy and feel of a live worship experience for a more polished studio album. The cleaner sound allows each performer and song to stand tall.
The album opens with the anthemic title cut, “Salvation’s Tide is Rising.” With thumping blasts of electric guitar floating over symphonic synth riffs, this vertical worship song is a call for God to break down the walls of our sinful rebellion and do His work of revival.
Matt Redman’s “I Turn to Christ” bears all the signature imprints of a Redman ballad with its cinematic build-ups and the song’s Christ-centered lyrics. Christy Nockels’ “Your Grace Amazes Me” is this record’s power worship number that is flavored with a ceremonial noir calling to mind Nockels’ previous hit, “My Anchor.”
Brett Younker reminds us of the victory that Christ won on Easter with some incredible lyrical imagery that helps us connect hope with the inevitable things going on in life, all thanks to the empty grave. Passion newcomer, Jimi Cravity, adds a synthetic lyrical approach and throws listeners a nice sonic curveball on the intimate yet powerful, “Surrender.”
While the album lacks the enthusiasm and authentic worship of a live recording, there are still a lot of great songs and it will not disappoint. Every song does exactly what it was intended to do: point us to the love of God and all that He has done, is doing, and is going to do for us. I applaud the Passion folks for changing it up a bit, albeit not really musically or stylistically. This is another album with ready-to-use songs of praise, so go get it.