Back to You
- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Jan
- Running After Me
- There is None Like You (Sovereign Lord)
- Crying Out to You
- Back to You
- The Revelation Song
- Your Love is a Miracle
- Awesome is the Lord Most High
- Those Who Believe
- Unfailing Love
While legions of Chris Tomlin's fans wait with bated breath for the worship leader's next offering, Jon Abel will more than handily satisfy with Back to You. I'd daresay that I've even enjoyed Back to You more than Tomlin's See the Morning, which says a lot given Tomlin's experience and accolades. When someone has set the bar for corporate worship as high as Tomlin and others have, it's hard to top what's already been done. Yet Back to You and Abel's previous 2006 release More Than This have both been pleasant surprises—especially for an artist who remains unsigned.
Abel, like Tomlin, is a Texan who knows how to pen a catchy worship song accessible enough for congregations to sing along with. But unlike the predictable, been-there-heard-that sentiments of so many praise songs these days, Abel also has that rare gift of being able to say things in a fresh way. Even though the concept of God pursuing us is a familiar one, the lyrics to his buoyant opener "Running After Me" give new life to the conversation, while the contemplative confessional "Crying Out to You" is a colorful reminder of God's desire to forgive.
Abel's "Awesome is the Lord Most High," which appeared on Tomlin's See the Morning, is a soaring anthem that sticks in the head for days to come. But it's the title track where his experience as a worship leader for Highland Park Presbyterian's 1105 contemporary service truly shines—a soaring, gorgeous declaration of redemption that really demonstrates the perfect balance of his poise as a singer and songwriter.
But more than just another batch of great songs, it's Abel's emphasis on community on Back to You that ultimately makes these songs such a personal experience. "It's the context of this community is where I get refueled and sent out to go and do what I do," Abel says. "Community is where life was meant to be lived so I'm very fortunate to have a home base of family and friends that support me and what I do."