Hillsong Kids' Supernatural is the third installment in a series of kid-focused worship music produced by Australia's Hillsong church. Like Super Strong God and Jesus Is My Superhero before it, Supernatural is a live worship recording featuring a combination of new and familiar Hillsong songs adapted for a live setting and produced to appeal to its pre-teen audience.
Using an impressive combination of charismatic lead vocals, a talented children's choir, and a bevy of well-placed cheers, Supernatural conveys a live energy that befits its title as a Hillsong release. It's a fun record to listen to and contains a handful of sure-fire children's hits. The bouncy title track and the irresistibly melodic "This Is The Day" are both energetic and vibrant expressions of praise, rivaling the sheer excitement of Super Strong God's best moments (Eg. "I Believe in Jesus" and "Royalty").
However, like most Hillsong releases, Supernatural is also a frustratingly hit-and-miss affair. Although the first few songs work really well, the rest of the album is bogged down by a slew of same-sounding slow ("Shine On Me") and mid-tempo songs ("Always With You" and "I Will Sing") that rob it of some much-needed momentum. Others yet are unimaginatively built around title-repeating and trite-sounding refrains ("Jesus Loves Me"), while the album's stylistic detours-although adventurous in concept-ultimately sound awkward in detail and execution. These include "Not Forgotten"'s African-tinged rhythms and "On The March"'s marching theme. Even "Everyday," which is adapted from Hillsong United's repertoire, sounds neutered and far too removed from the song's original (and much livelier) rock arrangement to be effective.
Supernatural is a disappointment because it makes much of the same mistakes that other Hillsong releases are prone to repeating: too many instances of dull repetition and not enough imagination. Contrary to popular belief, successful kids music shouldn't merely dumb down or simplify otherwise adult material. Rather, it should energize and amplify! The best songs on this release do exactly that, but unfortunately Supernatural doesn't do enough to satisfy, making it a thoroughly inconsistent and disengaging affair.- Review date: 7/10/07, written by Sherwin Frias
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