STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 171617-27577 LABEL: Hillsong Music 9320428329158 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2018-06-29 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
This is Hillsong Young & Free's first studio album and in many ways their chosen musical approach - EDM-tinged pop with hardly a guitar in earshot - is much better suited to the care and precision of a studio recording than the hurly-burly of a live performance (even though, let's face it, there's a huge amount of overdubbing going on big budget live albums these days). It remains to be seen whether 'III' will deliver the memorable songs like "Alive", "Wake" and "Simply Living" that have given Hillsong Church's latest spinoff ensemble group considerable momentum, and I wouldn't say that this album delivers a song destined to become the group's signature hit in the same way that Hillsong Worship's "Shout To The Lord" and Hillsong United's "Oceans" have done so. But certainly the surging opener "Let Go" and the exceptional "Push/Pull", co-written by Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood, Ben Tan, Aodhan King and Tracy Pratt, powerfully deals with the subject of temptation we all face, nimbly balancing God's sovereignty and human responsibility. Not all the songs are of this standard - "Love Won't Let Me Down" and "Every Little Thing" are littered with clichés, while musically some of the drum programming is erratic and only really sounds convincing on "Just Jesus". But there's still music here which will connect deeply with youth and maybe even some oldsters like me.
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III is the third album from Grammy nominated worship collective Hillsong Young & Free, a youth movement born out of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. The release is the first studio album from the band and features 17 tracks, all of which demonstrate Y&F's unparalleled ability to blend pop and dance music influences with powerful worship anthems. Laura Toggs writes, "This collection of songs are personal, written and sung from profound devotions and life wrestles over the last three years" and the album reflects that deepening, growing-up and coming of age that the band has experienced since their last release, Youth Revival.
Young & Free is a collective of young people who come together to make music for youth and young adults everywhere. With hearts to bring truth to this generation, they sing passionately of their belief grounded in the love, grace and freedom found in having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their dream is that through the message that they bring people everywhere would discover the very season that they were created.