Artist: Preson Phillips
Label: Watermark Church, Tampa
Genre: Worship, Folk
In Our Winters is the fourth, full-length album from Tommy Preson Phillips, head pastor at Watermark Church in Tampa, Florida, following 2011’s Wrath. The album was released in June of 2014 and is available in physical CD form and digital download through iTunes, Amazon and Presonphillips.com.
In Our Winters is a worship album based on biblical concepts. The themes and lyrics of the album are safe for the entire families’ listening pleasure. In Our Winters promotes obedience to the Lord, including observing His instructions and pursuing His influence.
Album Theme/Cover Art
I was unsure of what to think of Preson Phillips’ choice of album cover art. I contacted Preson via Twitter and he responded with this: “The cover is frozen lake Michigan photo by @dtdavison. Stillness in winter waiting for spring/resurrection/newlife. It’s hope.” Understanding the inspiration behind the cover art, it is clear that it coincides perfectly with the album and the story it tells.
The album begins with a cover of the American folk and gospel song, “Wayfaring Stranger.” The album moves forward with totally original lyrics and sounds. Tommy Preson Phillips poetically uses analogies and metaphors to reference scripture and the cross in his lyrics. From track to track, he leads a call to action for the church, and at other times a plea to God for His presence or favor. Impressive guitar work floods the album, complete with beautiful piano play.
I personally consider the first five tracks of the album to be beautiful works of art that I am proud to share with friends and family. “Come Down Father” and “Lift Up The Gates” are permanent favorites of mine. Track 11 on the album is “Open for Me” and is a fitting and satisfying closure to the studio-recorded segment of the album.
The album includes four, live acoustic alternatives to studio electric tracks. The acoustic alternatives have a good quality to them, considering they are recorded live. Throughout the entire album, Phillips does a great job conveying genuine love for God and desire for His influence in his own life and in the world. The very last track included in, In Our Winters “Let Me Walk” has a very different sound to it when compared to the rest of album, revealing the band’s awesome ability to create diverse content.
Preson Phillips In Our Winters is an awesome example of a high-quality, independently-produced, Christian music album. I highly recommend any fan of Folk or Worship music, and perhaps John Mark McMillan listeners, give this album a real chance. Lyrically and musically, the album is a beautiful piece of art and is entirely relatable to any listener with a relationship with the Lord. Preson Phillips has also released his full album to Sound Cloud for your listening pleasure.
The Bottom Line