Personnel: Chris Tomlin (vocals); Ed Cash (electric guitar, mandolin, keyboards, background vocals); Danielle Carson (electric guitar); Matt Slocum (cello); Jesse Reeves (bass guitar); Joey Parish (drums).
In the wake of the mainstream commercial acceptance of P.O.D. and Jars of Clay, the early 2000s saw a surge of Christian artists exploring a myriad of rock styles paired with less overtly religious lyrics. On 2004's ARRIVING, however, Chris Tomlin sticks to the traditional CCM mold, offering up an album of modern, radio-ready pop that unabashedly and explicitly praises Jesus. Tomlin's take is often that of a wide-eyed innocent who is continually amazed by the scope and wisdom of the Lord's vision. His words of joy are matched with mostly up-tempo, relentlessly catchy tunes, delivered with soaring vocal harmonies and foot-tapping, alternative-rock-style rhythms. Often sounding like a cross between the straight-ahead Top 40 sounds of Richard Marx and the slightly funky singer/songwriter stylings of John Mayer, Tomlin's music provides a kind of DAWSON'S CREEK vibe for the faithful, and should appeal to avid church-goers and secular pop lovers alike.