This is yet another album put together by the music and creative arts team from Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia. Their songs have gone round the world, including the well-known praise anthem Shout to the Lord. More information can be obtained from their website, www.hillsong.com. My review for the previous praise and worship album, Blessed, can be found here
Hillsongs' worship style is very contemporary. The praise songs are very upbeat, and the electric guitars are employed to great effect. In fact, most of the worship songs have electric guitar riffs in them. So if you don't like loud praise and worship, do try one of the worship series albums (e.g. Overwhelmed or Amazing Love) by Hillsongs instead.
The Hillsongs' setup typically consists of 2 electric guitars, acoustic guitar, bass, 2 keyboards, drums and percussion. In addition, there are saxophones, brass instruments, trumpets.... The different instruments are blended nicely, and the resulting music sounds really magnificent.
Why did I buy this CD?
Its almost a ritual that I buy every CD from the Hillsongs Live Worship series. They are generally very good, especially the last two which were You are my World and Blessed. I was looking forward to its release and I bought it the very day it was available here.
Frankly I wasn't very impressed when I first heard it. I thought that it sounded like the typical Hillsongs stuff, not much different from previous albums. Maybe that's because this is already my 7th album from this series (and 3 more from other series)
Some of the songs were also in the United (Hillsong Church's youth ministry) album which was released about 6 months ago, and I liked those versions better.
On subsequent listening...
I found it to special in its own right. I've grown to like this album a lot.
I especially like My Hope, Ever Living God and Still.
"My hope is in the Name of the Lord, where my help comes from, You're my strength my song"
This is a powerful declaration that our hope is not on circumstances that we are facing but in the Lord, who is above those circumstances. A worship song, but still pretty heavy on the electric guitars and drums. I just love those riffs on the electric guitars...
Ever Living God
"All of the honour, all of the glory to You"
The lyrics are simple, but the song has a majestic feel to it. It starts off slow electric guitar acoustic guitar intro and has a nice beat. The song builds up nicely with the bridge, "All of the honour, all of the glory to you".
"When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm"
Piano-based, its simply awesome. Sounds as though it was born out of a time of testing and trouble for the songwriter. Its a declaration that God is above our troubles and that He will carry us above them.
This year's release has a bonus disc. Apparently, the worship anointing was so powerful that one disc couldn't contain the album. The bonus disc contains 7 songs, and they are pretty good too.
Recommend this product?
1. Better Than Life
3. Ever Living God
4. Need You Here
5. My Hope
8. Can't Stop Praising
9. You Are/You Are Lord
10. Here I Am to Worship/Call
1. Song of Freedom
2. Shout Your Fame
3. Exceeding Joy
4. King of Love
5. To the Ends of the Earth
7. Highest (reprise)