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Spotlight on music

Reviews by Kevin Pollard


Chris Tomlin: Holy Roar,
Sparrow Records, 2018

Veteran worship leader and songwriter Chris Tomlin releases his eighth album, Holy Roar, with the title track that declares that we are approaching God to give Him what He is worthy of: a holy roar of worship. “Praise Him Forever” is a fun, mid-tempo, four-on-the-floor song, “Goodness, Love and Mercy” ventures into a new bluesy-influenced sound complete with a Gospel-inspired bridge and “How Sweet It Is” features worship leader/songwriter Pat Barrett, who wrote “Good, Good Father”. Another favourite is the Andrew Peterson written “Is He Worthy?” a song grounded in scriptures as it pulls lyric from Romans 8:18-24 and references Revelation 5:1-14, while the high-energy “Satisfied” is my favourite track on the album.


Francesca Battistelli: Own It,
Curb/Word, 2018

After a four-year hiatus to raise a family and write songs, Francesca Battistelli returns with her fifth album Own It. Although her original direction for the album was a collection of worship songs she soon found herself drawn back to her familiar pop roots. The lead track and first single “The Breakup Song” co-written with MercyMe’s Bart Millard starts the album off with a groove that sets the stage for collection of memorable hits like “Royalty” and “This Could Change Everything” that are destined for radio play. Other highlights found here are the 90’s pop sound of “Love Somebody” and “Let The Light In” that incorporates EDM after the chorus. But the album is balanced with the worshipful “Defender,” which features guest vocals from Bethel Music’s Steffany Gretzinger and the uplifting “You Belong”.


Pat Barrett: Pat Barrett,
Bowyer & Bow, 2018

Pat Barret released his debut self-titled album on Chris Tomlin’s record label last year and is best known for his role as primary singer and songwriter of Housefires, and for co-writing “Good, Good Father.”
Pat’s songwriting is vulnerable and thought-provoking as heard on “Everything Is Sacred” where he sings, “You don’t see the lines we draw between secular and sacred.” New songs found here that have a familiar Housefires sound include, “Better,” “My Hallelujah,” and “Hymn of the Holy Spirit” with new version of previous songs from the group “The Way (New Horizons)” and “Build My Life”.
The final track, “Sails,” features Bethel Music artists Amanda Cook and Steffany Gretzinger.