Christopher Lewis Review - ChristianMusic.com
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CHRISTOPHER LEWIS - RHYTHM & PRAISE CD REVIEW

CD Mission Statement: To capture both the excitement and anointing of a fervent, worship-filled church experience through a variety of Praise and Worship Gospel songs, created through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in both the compositions and the presentations of the songs.

Mission of Christopher Lewis: "The best I can do is plant good seeds and let God do the rest. And to think that God would just use me as even a small part of His plan and His works is the greatest honor I could ever dream of."

Spiritual Messages / Themes of Songs

Christopher Lewis carries this attitude of sharing from the heart into the compositions and music he performs / leads, which is the case with the songs on this CD. Christopher Lewis comments: "There's no way I can write a song and think it's mine, or just for me. If it's given by God, it's given to be shared and to glorify Him. I look at my whole life that way. Anything at all that God has given, He's given it to be shared with whoever else needs it."

Christopher Lewis has put together a great collection of praise and worship music which reflects what he has learned on his own faith journey, as well as reflecting what scripture reveals. So, it's not surprising that the theme of the interconnection between worship and our daily lives, our day to day living runs throughout the CD. The themes so well expressed in the CD are relevant to the listener's life, a real blessing which one can hold onto, embrace.

Besides having a variety of Gospel Praise and Worship songs, the listener also blessed by hearing Christopher and friends reading pertinent Scripture over appropriate musical interludes, a very important part of the CD's praise and worship experience. Christopher comments: "Without Scripture, you don't have Praise & Worship. If Scripture is not prevalent, then all you have is a tune. I want people to see that very clearly in this album."

About the Music on Christopher Lewis: Rhythm & Praise CD.

Besides writing compositions and singing, this Rhythm & Praise CD project finds Worship leader Christopher Lewis wearing a co-producing hat for the first time, with definite ideas about what the content of a Praise and Worship CD should have to offer to the listening audience, seeking "the excitement and anointing of a fervent, worship-filled church experience."

With the help of his friends, such as Judith Christie-MCallister, Crissy Collins, Keisha McFarland, Timothy Fryar, Sha Simpson and Fred Hammond, Christopher Lewis has put together a wonderful collection of Gospel songs, 9 of which he composed, one which he co-wrote with Fred Hammond, that truly puts the listener in this above mentioned "fervent, worship-filled church experience."

The listener is treated to an inspiring variety of powerful Gospel Praise and Worship songs, ranging from spirit lifting, "roof-rattling" Gospel, to gentler, but equally moving ballads, with the result of offering a collection of songs which all feed the soul, rejuvenate the spirit with the result of moving the listener into a state of being, of praise and worship of the Lord, far away from personal troubles and worries. One does experience both the excitement and anointing of a fervent, worship-filled church service.

The first two songs, move and inspire the listener to begin this Gospel worship experience with the right heart attitude. These two upbeat praise songs, ALABANZA LOCA and SING PRAISES TO THEE definitely lift the spirits, and enable the listener to get the focus off the self and onto the Lord by celebrating His character, His blessings His love for us, thus encouraging the listener to be thankful and praise the Lord, which helps to lift one to a place to be in an attitude of worship.

The Music on the CD then moves into the more in depth worship and praise music, with THE GREATEST, and Christopher Lewis' signature song, DELIVERED, a powerful song of worship from his heart which has meant so much to so many people. Both songs encourage and remind the listener of who the Lord is and that He is a source of support and help during the rough times in our lives. Two lovely prayer hymns, COMMITTED and THANK YOU LORD round out this segment of the CD, giving a peace which comes from personal practice of devotion and worship.

The cycle begins again with two lively Praise songs, WE LIFT UP YOUR NAME, (by Jeff Hamlin) and THE KING, the result of Lewis and Fred Hammond working together, lead by Timothy Fryar. A smooth transition moves the listener into heartfelt worship with the next three songs, SWEETER THAN HONEY, (by Dakota Smith), EVERYTHING I NEED and I LOVE YOU, all brought to life by Christopher Lewis. The CD ends appropriately with two praise and worship songs that declare the Lord's glory and offer praise and thanksgiving; AWESOME GOD (By the late Rich Mullins) wonderfully done Gospel style, and a reprise of Lewis' and Hammond's song, THE KING, a great song to end the CD.

This CD, CHRISTOPHER LEWIS - RHYTHM & PRAISE, is the perfect remedy for discouragement and life stress and is the perfect vehicle to pump up one's spirit and encourage heartfelt praise and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. It would be a wonderful addition to your Christian Praise music collection.

Review of Rhythm & Praise Songs

ALABANZA LOCA (CRAZY Praze) - Words and Music by Christopher Lewis

A Lively Latin rhythm praise song to start the CD off with an energetic zinc of energy to grab the listener. Great use of brass, guitar, piano, dynamics and nice choir sound and harmony. Nice guitar intro, gets one in the mood of praise, Latin style. A varied melody and Latin rhythm, and enthusiastic vocals gives the song interesting sparks.

Scriptural References: (Gal. 5:22, Hebrews 3:18, John 15:11, Psalm 16:11, Psalm 36:7-9, Psalm 118:24)

Lyrical Samples:

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice. Come on everybody let us make a joyful noise

Chorus: In His presence there is fullness of joy. At His right hand there are pleasures evermore -

Bridge: Lift your hand up now! Give ALABANZA LOCA. Give God all the Praise! Give ALABANZA LOCA. Give Him crazy praise! Give ALABANZA LOCA.

Hook: Praise Him, Praise the Lord of Lords. Bless Him, Bless the Lord of Lords. Thank Him, Thank the Lord of Lords.

Chorus

* * * + SING PRAISES TO THEE - Words and Music by Christopher Lewis. Vocalist/leader featured: Judith Christie-McAllister

A strong favorite of this reviewer! Another bright melodious, rhythmically snappy contemporary praise and worship song, which uses guitar, organ, piano and a stellar brass section to offer great melodic support of the well performed, energetic vocals of the inspiring Judith Christie-McAllister. Judith Christie-McAllister and the support choir, a total composition that Lewis composes so well. The melody and rhythm and dynamics and interesting vocal parts express a course of action that shows our gratitude and love for our Lord, and will help the listener develop an thankful attitude needed for worship, as well as a spring in the step.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 103, 1 Thess. 5:16-18, Phil. 4:4, Psalm 33:1-3)

Lyrical Samples: Judith Christie-McAllister, Beginning Oratory: "Come on people of God, it's time to worship and adore. It's time to celebrate and give honor and praise to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. How many of you have come to sing praises, unto His name? Come on, sing Hallelujah! Glory to God.

I will sing unto the Lord. A new song...Hallelujah! sing praises to Thee.

I will clap my hands before Him. Praise Him all day long. Hallelujah! sing praises to Thee.

I will lift the Savior up.. For all men to see...Hallelujah! sing praises to Thee.

For there's no other place (the place of praise) I'd rather be. Hallelujah! Sing praises to Thee -

Chorus:Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises to Thee - (Everyone sing) :Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises to Thee

Judith Christie-McAllister: "It's time to lift our voices in concert and give glory to the King; for He is worthy."

Come on Sopranos.... (Judith then directs the tenors, Altos and Bases to join in the Chorus, step by step each singing a different part which each adds a dimension to the song, until the full choir is lifting up their collective voices to bring a dynamic finale to the piece)

Bridge:Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises, Sing Praises,. He's the King of kings. He's the Lord of Lords. Hallelujah - Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Hook:Choir: Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises to Thee, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises, Sing Praises.....

Bridge 2: Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Sing Praises, Sing Praises......................................................................................

* * * THE GREATEST (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

Another favorite of this reviewer. Modern Gospel Praise and Worship song, a love letter to the Lord with a catchy melody, nice rhythm, great choir vocals and led by lead vocalist, Crissy Collins, obviously an experienced talented Gospel performer, who give a soulful, heartfelt performance. Backup vocals offer fine support and nice harmonies. Again, the song has effective dynamics.

Praises and worships the Lord for who He is; ever faithful and merciful, and loving father, Lord of all, our source of salvation, hope and joy, our rock through trials, and for His word to guide us.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 27:1, Hebrews 13: 5-6, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 33:8-11)

Sample of Lyrics:

Chorus: You, You are the greatest, Joy of my salvation, God of every nation. You, You are the greatest, Hope of my tomorrow, Joy in times of sorrow. You You are the greatest, Highest name I know I love You so. You are the greatest (4x).

Thank You for all Your love and kindness. And all of Your faithfulness to me. You've been everything that You, Promised You'd be.

For miracles and blessings You've caused me to see. For the many ways when I was trapped You delivered me. With the word of faith You gave me liberty.

When I thought that I would die, You gave me life abundantly - You are , You are, No doubt about it, Gonna shout it, You're the greatest one, This word's ever known.

* * * + DELIVERED (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

A wonderful, beautiful Praise and Worship song that would inspire any congregation of any age or denomination. Great contemporary Gospel, with just lovely piano work, great dynamics an uplifting melody, nice harmony and great expressive, heartfelt vocals of Christopher Lewis. Described as a flowing melodic ballad, it is "an overwhelmingly powerful work in both music and message," a popular favorite, requested the most, and won IN 2003 again a BMI showcase award, making Christopher Lewis the Best New Artist.

Christopher Lewis comments: "It really deals with heart issues. We can see people's outer expressions of emotion - laughter, crying, shouting, singing - but we can't see inner turmoil, or sinful thinking, or a person's spirit crying out to God saying they're about to give up. I felt God telling me he wanted to deal with what's really in my heart. I saw then very clearly that everything in my life that He wanted to do with me was centered around the truth and purity of my heart for Him, and in dealing with those issues. Without cleaning up our hearts, we're out there just as lost as the people we're trying to lead."

Scriptural References: (John 10:27-30, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 6:10-12, 1 Samuel 17: 41-48, 1 Samuel 23:7)

1) I never knew or got a chance to meet Brother David, But I got a feeling that we've got a couple things in common and I know What I mean to say is that we've seen our separate trials, But at the end of them all we've seen total victory.

2) I never knew or got a chance to meet Brother Moses, But I got a feeling that we've got a couple things in common and I know what I mean to say is that we've seen the hands of bondage, But at the end of the road we've seen the promise land.

Chorus: Delivered from the silent frustration of my mind. When you broke through the shadows of the past I left behind. When the enemy came running, ranting and roaring Lord, You showed Yourself strong in the midst of it all.

Bridge: Lord I've seen so many battles in the warfare of the faith, And sometimes I feel like I'm fighting on my own. Although the devil soon reminds me of defeated times before. One defeated battle does not mean I've lost the war. Chorus

* * * + Committed (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

A favorite of this reviewer. Christopher Lewis and Keisha McFarland are the featured vocalists in this special worship composition. Song begins quietly with guitar and Chris singing first stanza. Dynamics slowly grow as other voices and counter melody is added by piano, touch of organ, until full choir enters during Hallelujah section, and continues to build to the end, as Keisha and Christopher give heartfelt performances, bringing the spirit of worship to a peak

Christopher Lewis comments: "That is one of my favorite songs. It hits home in a number of ways. We worship in church, but we usually don't even think of worship in things like the way we talk to others, or our personal integrity and the way we live our lives. But I see it all as forms of worship. This is a song about recommitting our lives, and all we are and have to Him, all in worship. That's what makes us true worshippers. Praise is what we do, but worship is who we are."

Scriptural References: (Matt. 6:33, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:29, & 5:1-2, Thess. 5:18)

Lyrical Samples:

With my mouth I'll bless you Your name. And with my hands I'll magnify and exalt You. With my heart I'll love You more each day. With my life I'll always give You praise.

I give my all totally committed to You. There is nothing that I'd rather do. Than give You my all. And commit my praise to You -

Hallelujah, (We commit my praise to You, Oh Lord) -Hallelujah, (We commit my hearts to You)Hallelujah (To the Holy Lamb) of God (Hallelujah) the lamb on the cross, Hallelujah, who rose on the third day......with all power in his hands...

He's the great I AM (Hallelujah) ....

* * + WE LIFT UP YOUR NAME - Words and Music by Jeff Hamlin. Vocals by Sha' Simpson

A perky, upbeat R & B praise song to raise the spirits by encouraging the praising of the Lord in the spirit of a psalm, with some of the lyrics inspired by John's Revelation. Song cooks along with great syncopation of horns, piano, and guitars.

Scriptural References: (John 3:16, Rev.5: 11-13 & 4:11 & 19:1)

Lyrical Samples:

Salvation and Glory belongs to our God, and unto the lamb on the throne. Blessings and honor, wisdom and power, be unto God alone -

Chorus: Hallelujah, glory to the Lamb. Hallelujah to the great I AM.

Bridge: WE lift up Your name oh Lord Worthy the lamb who was slain, Taking all our pain - We lift up Your name oh Lord. Giving You honor and praise. With our hands upraised to You Lord. Help me lift Jesus higher.

* * * + THE KING - (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis and Fred Hammond), Vocals by Timothy Fryar.

An interesting mix of roof-raising, traditional / contemporary Gospel praise with a Hip Hop beat, all which results in a high spirited song that really cooks! Sparkles with a full horn section, sizzling electric guitar and piano work that should get you dancing around the room in praise! Vocals are joyous and enthusiastic, spreading a joy that is infectious. Timothy Fryar does a fine job leading / singing the song.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 25, Rev. 11:15, 1 Thess. 4:16-17, & 5:16, Rev. 22:12-13)

Lyrical Samples: Clap your hands if you really love Jesus, Clap your hands if you really love Jesus! Clap your hands, clap your hands!!

Lift up your heads oh ye gate. And be ye lifted up. Ye everlasting doors. And the King of Glory shall come in. and the King of Glory shall come in (2x)

Who is the King of Glory? The Lord God strong and mighty. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord God mighty in battle. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord God strong and mighty. He is the King. He's Lord of Lords. Jesus is! (4x) Jesus is (Repeat) King of Glory (repeat)......................

* * * PRAISE THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

A mellow, smooth, lovely worship song with a melody easy to sing and vocals by Christopher and the choir provide which worship the Lord with heartfelt lyrics. The total musical sound of the song swirls around the listener, lifting the soul to a place of peace and thankfulness, far away from the secular world and its trials and annoyances.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 135 & 136, & 107 & 50:1)

Lyrical Samples:

Praise the Lord, For He is good, He is good. Praise the Lord, For He is good, He is good. From the rising of the sun, Until it goes back down again. Your name is worthy of the praise. ..............................

* * * SWEETER THAN HONEY - (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

Another smooth, beautiful worship hymn, worshipping Jesus for all the love, peace, joy and power there is in His name, because of who he is, our Lord and Savior. Lovely acoustic guitar, piano and some light embellishments of electric guitar and strings, light percussion offer strong support for the lovely melody, inspiring lyrics and heartfelt vocals by Christopher and smooth vocal harmonies in the choir ensemble. Song would be welcome in any denominational service.

Scriptural References: (Philippians 2:10-11, & 4:6-8, Romans 15:13, Ephesians 5:2)

Lyrical Samples:

Jesus, how I love to call Your name. The name above every name. Sweeter than honey, is Your name. There is power in Your name. There is love in Your name. There is peace in Your name. There is joy in Your name - Sweeter than honey, is Your name.

Hook: Jesus, how I love to call Your name. The name above every name.

* * * EVERYTHING I NEED - (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis)

Lovely, inspiring worship hymn with smooth ensemble harmonies. Heartfelt lead vocals, with great dynamics. Again melody and lyrics supported by sensitive playing of musical ensemble of acoustical guitar, sax, piano.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 18, Ephesians 3:18, Matt: 6:33, Isaiah 49:15, Hebrews 13:6, Matt 11:28-30))

Lyrical Samples:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. You're everything I need. Master, Savior, Jesus. You're everything I need -

Just when I need You most, You're always there for me. Just like the river flows, You flow inside of me. Just like a fire that burns eternally. You're everything I need.

* * * I LOVE YOU (Public Domain)

A moving worship / prayer hymn to provide a nice conclusion to the three songs that precede it. Christopher Lewis does a fine job brings a sense of peace as he sings the lead vocals. By the end of this song, this reviewer felt the peace of the Lord which comes from worship through these songs!

Lyrical Samples:

I love You. I love You. I love You Lord today. Because You cared for me in such a special way. That's why I praise You. I lift You up. I magnify Your name. That's why my heart is filled, With praise.

* * + AWESOME GOD - Words and Music by Rich Mullins, Vocals by Sha' Simpson

A standard praise and worship favorite by the late Mullins. First time through, song is beautifully performed with soul, Gospel style, by Sha' Simpson, which starts softly and gradually grows into a heartfelt soulful interpretation by the talented Sha' Simpson. Rich Mullins would've been pleased!

Second time through style changes into contemporary Gospel, a nice contrast. Drums and horns join in, as Sha' Simpson leads the choir to a dynamic conclusion.

Scriptural References: (Isaiah 33:5 & 22, Isaiah 9:6)

Lyrical Samples:

He is the Prince of Peace, He is the Great I AM. He is an awesome God. Our God is an awesome God. Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power and love, God is an awesome God -

He is the Prince of Peace, He is the Great I AM. He is an awesome God. Our God is an awesome God. Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power and love, God is an awesome God

THE KING (Reprise) - (Words and Music by Christopher Lewis and Fred Hammond), vocals by Timothy Fryar

The ending exclamation point to this CD of worship and praise songs, using the last phrase of the Lord's prayer in a dramatic way with lead vocals singing / preaching and choir repeating the phrase below in a melodious fashion!

Our God is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever, and ever.........

Julie Carr - Music reviewer for ChristianMusic.com

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