Reviewed by Stella Redburn
Commendably, Australia's worship song factory have seen their albums improve considerably since they lost their most distinctive lead singer/worshipper Darlene Zschech. 'No Other Name' shows they are still continuing to grow in depth both musically and lyrically. This was recorded at Allphones Arena, Sydney, at their 2014 conference. The production is as slick as you could wish, serving up their trademark sound of strong melodies over insistent bass with complex layers adding interest. I was encouraged to hear Hillsong exploring traditional liturgy in some of the words; a very deliberate move, according to Ben Fielding, who says "we are writing the liturgies of the church today" for churches that no longer use them. So we find "This I Believe", a setting of the Apostles Creed, and "Our Father", a wonderful setting of The Lord's Prayer, contextualising it and giving the words honour and significance. The general theme of 'No Other Name' might be summed up as the person and works of Jesus, in particular in the atonement. "Calvary", for example, speaks of the blood offering for sins. The songs are not short; at nine and a half minutes, "Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)" has time to give a thoughtful re-presentation of Newton's much-loved hymn, couched in the context of 2 Corinthians 4, verse 7, "We have this treasure in jars of clay." A tender tune sensitively sung by Taya Smith. There are no full-on rockers here, but lots of anthemic ballads, like "Heaven And Earth" with its interesting melody line and strong theology, and the title track with its catchy chorus. Marty Sampson has re-emerged to give us a slightly more folky offering, "Depths". A wonderful addition to contemporary church worship.
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|No Other Name is this year's highly anticipated Hillsong Worship album release, with 11 original songs perfect for individual and congregational worship.|
Featuring the songwriting, worship leadership, musicianship and vocals of those now well-known as the Hillsong Worship team, including Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding, Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, Nigel Hendroff, Autumn Hardman, Annie Garrett, Jad Gillies, David Ware and Taya Smith.
The album's standout songs include the title track No Other Name, which captures Hillsong Church's current season of building on the foundations of the past three decades and 'pioneering again', whilst continuing to lift up the One it all began with, Jesus.
More than just songs, our prayer is that the album would give voice to individuals and churches across the Earth, unifying them in a declaration of worship that is lifted to and for no other name but Jesus.