Israel Tomlinson ‘I Need A Change’ Review

Israel Tomlinson I Need A Change Album Review

Israel Tomlinson’s debut album is titled ‘I Need A Change and see’s him take on the role of producer, writer and instrumentalist as well as lead singer.  Tomlinson is a part of the group Expressions Of Worship (E.OW).

As I listened to the first song ‘Woe Is Me’ I was greeted by shakers, acoustic guitars and a soulful vocal delivery. The line “I have seen my mire and I’m desperate to be clean, Lord my one desire is for You to live in me…” really stood out to me and let me know that this was going to an album with depth (and this is only an intro and not a full song).

The title track ‘I Need A Change’ is the kind of song that can reduce you to tears. As Tomlinson sings “Everyone said you look so good but they never knew I struggled too…” and throughout the song describes a struggle with himself and his relationship God “There were times, I had to choose, should I stay or walk away. Emotions were pulling me but I heard God say, son you are free…” I could relate to reaching the point in life where you simply say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH… I NEED A CHANGE!!!

‘First True Love’ is a song I always repeated but for musical reasons. Anyone from a church where tambourine’s dominated Praise & Worship will understand why the tambourine playing excited me and made me want to dance. The bassist’s approach to this song is great too and drives the song with melodic lines and tight syncopate with the drums in parts while maintains a tight pocket. The vocals are bright and energetic and had me singing along.

“I was robbed of a father, still I am a son. Was lost a rejected but by the but by the beautiful one. I was a branch that was broken now I’m part of the tree, through the true vine connected through the son I’m made free…” These lyrics say it all for ‘My Identity’. This is a deep song that takes on a soulful, acoustic musical approach with lyrics that give an insight into Tomlinson’s testimony.

‘I Need To Hear From You’ is the album closer and is a plea and heart song/cry for God to “Hide me in, You presence Lord, cause I need to hear from you…”

‘I Need A Change’ took a few listens to grow on me but once I sat down and listened to it in depth the theme and title of the album became clear. This album is songbook of testimonies, allowing Tomlinson to be transparent about his struggles and challenges throughout his life. As he sung I could feel his desire for change, his pain but most of all the love, peace and restoration of God bringing him the change he yearned for.

Musically I was happy to hear such a blend of styles and musical approaches. You’ll find Acoustic, Soul, Contemporary Gospel, Pop/Rock and soothing ballads on ‘I Need A Change’.

With his gritty, rough around the edges voice, Israel Tomlinson penetrates the heart with every song… When he sings, you don’t just hear his testimony… You feel it.

Track List:

  • Woe Is Me
  • I Need A Change
  • First True Love
  • You Are God
  • My Identity
  • God Knows My Name
  • Need You To Stand
  • I’m Gonna Live For You
  • How Much I Love Ya
  • I Need To Hear From You

3.5/5

Reviewed By Matt Brooks

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