The name Hillsong is almost synonymous with contemporary worship music. Most of the time, the music comes from Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. But the church's London-based branch, Hillsong London, has a worship band of the same caliber. Their album Jesus Is was apparently popular enough amongst the church and other listeners that they deemed it necessary to put the album out again - remix style.
Remix albums are an acquired taste, and this album is a reminder of that. The opening song, entitled "Lord of All," screams of "unnecessarily long intro." Nearly a minute and a half of the stereotypical house/trance synth and beat leads into slightly less-than-appealing vocals. The same sounds continue pulsing through the entire seven and a half minutes, and as the end of the song nears, the listener will feel every second of it. "'Till I See" features a shady vocal track throughout the song saying "I live to love You until I see You, I live to love You till the day I meet You," too many record skips on the female vocals, and an uncalled for 15-second rap break. "Above All" will make you think the song is an instrumental, with a nearly 2-minute intro that builds up into boring vocals and stays fairly repetitive with a little bit of transition in the music.
One highlight I was hoping for was their rendition of "How Great Is Our God." However, I was let down as I discovered no one person sang the song. The lyrics were there, but it was done with a computer-generated voice, sounding a lot like Stephen Hawking did all the vocal work. But there were still a few good points on Jesus Is - re:mix. The lyrics, though usually very basic and simple, were passionate about Jesus. Also, some of the synth here and there is really catchy and ends up sounding pretty good.
As mentioned earlier, Hillsong is a staple in the contemporary scene. It wouldn't be a surprise at all to hear some of this album on Christian radio stations here in the United States. However, when it comes to real quality worship music, it might be better to stick to projects like Third Day's Offerings albums, or newcomers The Glorious Unseen.- Review date: 11/25/07, written by Scott Fryberger
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