Passion’s 2017 worship release made it obvious that Kristian Stanfill is now the lead worshipper and successor to Chris Tomlin, with Chris’ recognizable tenor only gracing one track. Their 2018 release, Whole Heart confirms this change in leadership, as there is no sign of Tomlin anywhere on the album. Although the old guard have been replaced by the likes of Stanfill, Crowder, Sean Curren, and Melody Malone, the core feel of Passion remains intact.
The 11 song project is fairly typical of previous releases by the Passion worship collective, but lyrically seems a bit deeper and more thought out. The central theme of Whole Heart is God’s love for His people, which is obvious on songs like “Reckless Love,” “Almighty,” and the title track, where Stanfill lays out how beautifully God never holds anything back when it comes to pursing us.
Musically, most of the tracks fit within the rock/pop genre and will find radio play on most major Christian stations. These songs are obviously written for the local church, with many being very easy to sing, yet at the same time memorable. The best of these being “Hallelujah Our God Reigns,” which is a simple song of praise whose chorus is infectious and could definitely find its place in your regular Sunday set-list.
Matt Redman chimes in with his version of the becoming-way-to-overdone, “Great Are You Lord,” which is a bit of a yawner, while “You’re So Good,” is a nice repackaging of the classic song “God Is So Good,” that actually works and doesn’t sound cheesy.
The most surprising track on the album was the final cut, “All My Hope,” which features David Crowder showing off his southern Gospel roots as he plays a ragtime type piano and sings about the grace of Jesus, complete with slide guitars and a black Gospel choir. Even though it seemed a bit out of place here, it was still my favorite song on the collection.
Like with most Passion albums, there are a few great songs here, but instrumentally it’s pretty much par for the course as a whole. Curran’s unique and airy tenor is interesting to listen to, and Crowder’s tracks keep things from becoming completely cookie-cutter. Pick it up.