STYLE: Dance/Electronic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 166045-25659 LABEL: Dream Worship FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Those who have been following the development of modern worship music down the years will know that New Zealand with its pioneering Parachute Festival and the band that sprang from it were significant players in modern worship's history while those who can go further back will remember that it was Britain's World Wide Message Tribe who first utilised mainstream dance rhythms in evangelism, and sometimes worship. Such history has some bearing on this release from an ensemble from Auckland whose musical approach is distinctly club-orientated. Throughout the programming is inventive, the rhythms are likely to get even tired limbs moving into action and the group have two lead singers - one male, one female - who are well above-average as they joyfully proclaim their praises to God. But the major problem with 'Hands High' are the lyrics. There are only so many times that you can hear such phrases as "I wanna praise you" and the occasional "I want more of you in my life" before monotony sets in, while it takes six songs before Jesus is actually named for the first time (which is a strange phenomenon for an album striving to be full-on praise). There are some catchy hooks here like the title track and "Heartbeat" while the dubstep breakdown on another song is particularly effective. But the lightweight lyrics continually pull the songs back from reaching their full potential. Finally here's a note for the Equipper's Revolution songwriters. Remember, that in their early days Hillsong United delivered their fair share of banal lyrics and look at the great things they've gone on to. Here's hoping future ER albums feature lyrics to match their obvious musical gifting and desire to praise the Lord. Then we'd get a truly exciting album.
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