STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 167202-26261 LABEL: Hillsong Music 9320428329639 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2017-10-20 RRP: £10.00
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
If you're a long time follower of Australia's extraordinary worship phenomenon known as Hillsong (and half a dozen other name variants) you'll know that since 1992 they have never failed to deliver at least one live album every year. These were usually recorded to be released at or during their annual Hillsong Conference July time in Sydney. This year they have forgone a live album in favour of 12 new studio recordings and here deliver a second studio set - this time of Christmas songs - six newly written and some of the usual suspects ("O Come All Ye Faithful", "Joy To The World", etc). The originals work best. The ballad "Prince Of Peace" has a wonderful vocal from Brooke Fraser (or has she permanently dropped that moniker in favour of Brooke Ligertwood?) while another ballad - penned by Aodhan King, Rene Sieff and Ben Tan with an epic Disney-esque arrangement and a vocal by worship leader Rene Sieff - is also very strong. On the downside the instrumental "Theme Of The Eastern Star" is the kind of vacuous mush you sometimes hear in lifts and hotel lobbies. Hillsong Y&F make a contribution to 'The Peace Project' and their "Seasons" is thankfully full of youth culture zest. Sung by one of the song's writers, Benjamin Hastings, it has a lyric which one reviewer found "too individualistic in its lyrical focus." I know what he meant, and certainly it's a long way from the theology-rich hymns/songs that someone like Keith Getty hopes to see established in today's churches. But I found its poetic ponderings on the passing of the seasons rather good (even if not really a Christmas song). To close then, a curate's egg of a Christmas album with some bad bits.
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Christmas is God's ultimate peace project. God sent Jesus to usher in Shalom, we are all agents of Peace.
The Peace Project Christmas album is comprised of seven new, vibrant tracks such as Prince of Heaven, Seasons & Peace Upon The Earth along with fresh arrangements of five of the most beloved Christmas classics like Hark, O Holy Night & Joy To The World.
Our prayer is that as we enjoy the festivities of the season, that our worship may also be felt in some of the most chaotic and dark places on earth. As we celebrate the birth of our Prince of Peace, Jesus.
01 Joy To The World
04 Prince Of Heaven
05 O Come All Ye Faithful
07 When I Think Upon Christmas
08 Silent Night (with Saviour King)
10 Theme Of The Eastern Star
11 O Holy Night
12 Peace Upon The Earth