NYCS First Impression: ‘Chris Tomlin & Friends’ Collaboration Album
Faith, religion, and God have always had a place in country music. Now, Grammy-award-winning Christian music singer-songwriter, Chris Tomlin has taken this theme to the next level with his Christian/country collaboration album titled Chris Tomlin and Friends that dropped last Friday (July 31). Some of the biggest names in country music are featured on this record, including Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Lady A, Brett Young, Chris Lane, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, and Russell Dickerson, as well as some of the biggest songwriters, including Ashley Gorley, Corey Crowder, Dan + Shay’s Shay Mooney and much more.
Tomlin’s thirteenth studio album was executively produced by Florida Georgia Line and Crowder. This project came about when Tomlin and Tyler Hubbard met in a Florida gym on vacation. Both confessed that they were huge fans of each other and decided there to write some songs together in the future. On the record, Tomlin co-wrote nine of the thirteen songs while Hubbard and Crowder have co-wrote six songs each.
“This is a very meaningful project for us,” Hubbard shared in a press release. “BK and I both grew up leading worship in church, singing several of Chris’ songs throughout the years. He’s been a huge inspiration to us, and to have this full circle opportunity to collaborate with him on this album is a true blessing.”
Aside from writing, Hubbard and Brian Kelley feature their vocals on three songs, including “Forever Home,” “Sing,” with Russell Dickerson, and the lead track “Thank You, Lord” featuring Thomas Rhett. “Forever Home” is the most country sounding track on the record. The ‘forever home’ they sing about is a metaphor for heaven. “When we get to our forever home / Me and you will be forever home.” In “Thank You, Lord,” Tomlin, Rhett and Florida Georgia Line express all they have to be thankful for in upbeat fashion, including their mothers, friends, wives, kids, and more. Rhett is also featured “God Who Listens,” which touches on the power of prayer. Tomlin and Rhett collaborated on Rhett’s COVID-inspired hit song, “Be A Light” that was released in March.
Grammy-award-winning country group, Lady A will get their first taste of Christian radio with “Who You Are To Me,” as this will be Tomlin’s next single to the charts. Some people think the Lord is just the protagonist of some fables, but in this song, Tomlin, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and David Haywood explain that God can be a part of everything you do. “Your mercy, Your goodness / Lord, You’re the air that I breathe / That’s who You are to me.” The track currently sits at number 24 and was the most added song to Christian radio the week of August 1st. “Gifts From God,” featuring Chris Lane has a similar message – Every day is a gift from God and if you look around, you’ll see He is always around you, not just the hour you spend with Him in church on Sunday.
“Chase Me Down,” featuring RaeLynn, and “Together,” featuring Dickerson reminds us that even in the worst of times, God is always there for us, even when we’re “knee deep in sin.” In “Be The Moon,” Brett Young and Cassadee Pope harmonize with Tomlin to create a beautiful ballad about how we, like the moon does with the sun, can use Christianity to reflect the light of God onto others.
Other non-country collaborations include “Reaching for You,” with We The Kingdom, “Power,” with NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bear Rineheart, and the album’s closer, “Tin Roof,” featuring Blessing Offor.
“Everyone brought their own unique experiences and talents to the table and it’s what made the songs and their message so relatable and powerful,” Tomlin shared. “For me, this record is a step towards breaking down the walls of the Christian genre and allowing the music to be accessible to a wider audience. That’s my understanding of the Gospel. Music about faith, God, salvation and forgiveness doesn’t only have to come from the Christian genre.”
23 Dove Awards and nine number one songs on the Christian Airplay charts wasn’t satisfying enough for the Nashville-based, Texas native. Growing up as a kid, Tomlin wanted to do one of two things: play professional baseball or sing country music. While it would tough for the 48-year old to make an MLB roster, it wasn’t too late to record a country record. The awards and the number-one hits show Tomlin clearly has a lot of talent as a musician, but this album truly put his exceptionality and versatility on full display.
Chris Tomlin & Friends Track List:
- “Thank You, Lord” (Intro)
- “Thank You Lord” feat. Florida Georgia Line & Thomas Rhett (Chris Tomlin, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder, David Garcia)
- “Reaching For You” feat. We The Kingdom (Chris Tomlin, Shay Mooney, Ed Cash)
- “Who You Are To Me” feat. Lady A (Chris Tomlin, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood)
- “God Who Listens” feat. Thomas Rhett (Chris Tomlin, Thomas Rhett, Ashley Gorley, David Garcia)
- “Power” feat. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE (Chris Tomlin, Pat Barrett, Ed Cash)
- “Be The Moon” feat. Brett Young & Cassadee Pope (Chris Tomlin, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
- “Sing” feat. Russell Dickerson & Florida Georgia Line (Chris Tomlin, Corey Crowder, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard, Cary Barlowe)
- “Chase Me Down” feat. RaeLynn (Racheal Lynn David, Josh Kerr, Hannah Ellis)
- “Gifts From God” feat. Chris Lane (Chris Tomlin, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
- “Forever Home” feat. Florida Georgia Line ((Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Ashley Gorley, Corey Crowder)
- “Together” feat. Russell Dickerson (Chris Tomlin, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard, Russell Dickerson, Corey Crowder)
- “Tin Roof” feat. Blessing Offor (Blessing Offor, Natalie Hemby)
- Thank You Lord
- Who You Are To Me
- Be The Moon
- Forever Home
Keep up with Tomlin by following him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Chris Tomlin & Friends is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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