STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 125619-19586 LABEL: Hillsong Music HMACD260 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2012-07-09 RRP: £13.00
Reviewed by Andy Cooper
Though Hillsong have an expanding global following, and are prolific CD releasers, they only seem able to release a truly good album once every three or four years. This is not one of them, unfortunately. It follows their regular live album format of recent years, with huge cheering crowds, powerful drums and brawny Aussie walls of guitar. However, the quality of the recording, the performance from the band and the level of production can all only be described as sounding dull. There are no outstanding vocal performances: even Darlene only gets a lead vocal in one song and even then isn't as vivacious as usual. There are no exciting solos, no embellishment from a brass section or strings, and a lot less backing vocals than usual. The title track plods along like a tired elephant, while the lyrics are a little haphazard. Following on, the chords and melodies of "I Surrender" and "Grace Abounds" are a melancholy misfit to the uplifting words, and the drumming is as crazy as a group of gorillas on a bouncy castle. Hillsong, this time, only start to reach expected levels of quality when they follow the style of others: the anthem "Running" reminds of Coldplay; the sensitive "Stand In Awe" could be from Matt Redman; and the studio version of "Hope Of The World" sounds very similar to Chris Tomlin. Having said all this I'm very aware of the subjective nature of reviewing and the fact that given Hillsong's huge international popularity it is possible that one or two of these songs will connect with the church worlwide and in years to come their recordings here will be pronounced worship classics by those blessed by them.
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Hillsong LIVE is the congregational expression of worship from Hillsong Church - a local church with global influence. This local church worship team has a commitment to continually resource the Body of Christ with fresh songs of worship and a deep passion to see people connect with the Living God in a real and personal way.
Hillsong LIVE remains committed to inspiring and empowering the authentic worship of Jesus and resourcing the Body of Christ, everywhere.