When Silence Falls
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Aug
- Beautiful One
- Consuming Fire
- Giver Of Life
- Whole World In His Hands
- Beauty Of Your Peace
- Name Above All Names
- When the Tears Fall
- Nothing In This World
- Joy Is in This Place
- Holy, Holy
- Beautiful One (reprise)
Even those marginally familiar with modern worship and Christian pop have probably heard of Tim Hughes without realizing it. "Here I Am to Worship" is the most popular worship anthem since Darlene Zschech's "Shout to the Lord," earning the 26-year-old worship leader Dove awards for 2003's Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year and 2004's Worship Song of the Year. And since the release of his late 2001 debut album bearing the same title, it's probably easier to count the Christian albums that the song has
The son of an Anglican minister, Hughes gained experience as a worship leader with Soul Survivor UK under the guidance of Matt Redman. It's therefore not surprising that his sound closely resembles that of his mentor, as well as British worship band Delirious. What is interesting, however, is how quickly the apprentice seems to have learned from his master. Hughes' sophomore effort,
No doubt there are worship leaders earnestly hoping for another instant favorite with the church, but they should note that Hughes tried to approach worship differently with
Produced by Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Matt Redman),
The theme is only obvious in a few instances, however, primarily in the ambient ballads. The album's title comes from "When Tears Fall," a maudlin track with these lyrics: "When hope is lost, I'll call you Savior/When pain surrounds, I'll call you Healer/When silence falls, you'll be the song within my heart." In the gentle "Beauty of Your Peace," Hughes sings, "Take from our souls the strain and stress/And let our ordered lives confess/The beauty of Your peace," offering hope of eternal life amid desperate times. "Whole World in His Hands" uses the familiar lyric from the children's song to create a new comforting reminder of God's sovereignty, and it's made all the more effective with the introduction of a choir two minutes in.
For much of the CD, Hughes relies on typical songs of praise to convey God's vastness and surrendering to his will. The album opens with "Beautiful One," a familiar Delirious-meets-Redman rocker written in 2002. Both "You" and "Name Above All Names" openly praise the infinite majesty of the Almighty, yet even in these songs, Hughes succumbs to lyrical conventions; in the latter, trying to convey God's awesomeness, Hughes resorts to the usual bowing knee and confessing tongue chorus. Elsewhere, he offers the rousing praise song "Joy Is in This Place," reminiscent of classic Delirious, but aside from familiar phrases of "Everybody dance and shout," half the song relies on the first verse of "Amazing Grace"—certainly a cause for joy, but not an originally worded reason.
It's telling that one of the album's two standouts is a revived classic by UK worship band Phatfish. Hughes's cover of "Holy, Holy" is not as beautifully bombastic as the original, but it's still infectious in its beauty and simplicity, demonstrating the song's potential for adaptation and longevity with worshippers. The other highlight is "Nothing in This World," a song Hughes wrote back in 1998 that comes close to matching the easy melody of his beloved hit. It's a great sounding worship album—the best one Delirious never recorded—thanks to Hughes' gift of melody and Nockels' sure-handed production. But lyrically, Hughes needs to rely less on convention by finding fresh illustrations and phrasing to help bring his worshipful musings to life.