I rarely use this blog to review anything. In fact, I don’t even want to call this a review.
I’m going to say something that may seem almost sacrilegious to worship leaders. I was burned out on Hillsong Worship. I stopped looking forward to their new projects. In fact between Blessed and Mighty to Save I’m not sure that I could actually name anything they recorded.
I wasn’t upset at the theology in their lyrics. I didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. It was just that everything was beginning to sound the same. Maybe it was just me. I certainly don’t think of myself as a master musician or professional song writer. It is probably of note that during my season of disenchantment with Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United was becoming more prominent. Maybe more resources were being pushed that direction, but that is simple speculation on my part.
When Mighty to Save was released things started to change for me again. It was a song here or a song there that got my attention. Then Cornerstone was released and it was more than a song here and there. It was a solid collection of songs.
I don’t think it was coincidence that it was about this time that worship music started talking about Jesus more directly than in previous years. While I am not one that thinks every worship song has to mention Jesus, I think it is imperative that people understand Who we are singing about. This universalist culture has made gods out of whatever people want to worship, so it is important that people know that I am worshipping Jesus.
The seeker movement left us a repertoire of very shallow worship music. Rich theology was replaced with pop culture clichés and hooks. I am happy to see that trend being reversed and I think that groups like Hillsong actually spear-headed that shift. Whether it be their re-working of hymns or in their writing of modern hymns like Man of Sorrows, Hillso ng was once again singing theology.
I really believed that their No Other Name project was the culmination of this, but with the recent release of Open Heaven (River Wild), they have once again upped the ante.
This is a project that anyone that enjoys worship music needs to check out. There is plenty of rich theology mixed with songs of prayer for personal revival on this record. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Let me know what you think.