Reviewed by James Howard-Smith
Known for the wide reach of their church planting, their apparently constant recording, various merchandise, multiple contributions to the international Christian songbook, and, probably more than anything else, the power and professionalism of their live events, Hillsong bring us 12 new live recordings. A good part of the appeal here must be that space is given to nine of Hillsong's worship stars, generally singing their own compositions. An interesting exception is Brooke's Ligerwood "Like Incense/Sometimes By Step" that rather cheekily borrows the chorus of the Rich Mullins' classic forming half its title. (David Crowder did something not too different with Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light", following after Johnny Cash, on his "A Collision".) As one worship leader hands over to the next it's pretty seamless, thanks to consistent production and the general lack of distinctiveness among the voices. Recent acquisition Jorim Kelly does offer something a little different with "The Father's Heart", which sounds as if it could be a Snow Patrol hit, while Darlene Zschech is still standing out as their most accomplished vocalist. As polished and competent as ever, this is undoubtedly rock concert worship with several songs really stretching out and the title track even passing the 10 minute mark.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
On Sunday night 8th of November, thousands of worshippers gathered together in the Sydney Entertainment Centre in a collective expression of worship, recording the latest live worship album from Hillsong Church.
The fact that an album was being recorded seemed incidental, inconsequential even, as thousands of voices ascended heavenward, filling the stadium with a heartfelt expression of worship. The presence of God was tangible, the focus singular – a beautiful exchange:Perfection took our place,
when only love could make a way,
you gave your life in a beautiful exchange...
From the first song you are carried on a journey from awakening to awe for this overwhelmingly infinite and yet intensely intimate God. It is intoxicating – captivating what the power of a unified church in worship can accomplish. That night, thousands of people knelt at the feet of their magnificent Saviour in adoration; a beautiful exchange on so many levels.