Listen to the new compilation from JFH!
Listen to the new compilation from JFH!

JFH Staff Review


Hillsong UNITED, Of Dirt And Grace有ive From The Land
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE

Hillsong UNITED
Of Dirt And Grace有ive From The Land



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Live / Worship / Pop
Album length: 15 tracks: 99 minutes, 5 seconds
Street Date: July 15, 2016


READER RATING:   


Throughout the mid-2000's, worship music was often viewed under the banner of one major stereotype. When the genre was brought to mind, it was associated with a clean, straightforward musical structure and repetitive lyrical themes. This stereotype was enforced so much that worship music, unfortunately, became the lesser of the genres to many music fans. As a result, it really wasn't classified as music but the vehicle that brought listeners to their knees. The problem was that the music itself didn't seem to recognize this. It constantly tried (and in some cases is still trying) to present itself as a source of relevant music, the most prominent example being the genre's newfound near obsession with EDM.

Hillsong UNITED, however, took a major step towards the genre's true purpose with their 2013 record, Zion. The music was excellent, of course, but at its core, it was the backing track to the real reason the genre exists. Zion's follow-up, Empires, achieved a similar vision, although not as well done as its predecessor was. Now, arriving just over a year later, Of Dirt and Grace, a live remake of the entire Empires album, may be the best we've heard from the band yet.

Opening with "Here and Now (Madness)," it's evident that Of Dirt and Grace reaches for something beyond its fine musical components. The song is a slow build that, instead of choosing to draw attention to itself, creates an ethereal atmosphere that sets its sight above. In fact, this is practically how the whole album plays out. The instruments are played gently and graciously while the vocals (especially those of the most highlighted lead, Taya Smith) are delicate yet commanding. Even when it picks up its pace in "Street of Mercy" and "Rule," there's an underlying aesthetic that remains worshipful.

Adding to the intimacy is the album's visual component. Examples of the historical locations these songs were performed on include the Via Dolorosa, the Mount of Beatitudes, and the Sea of Galilee. It's an original concept that enhances the beauty of these songs even further.

Overall, Of Dirt and Grace is a magnificent achievement. Not only does it remind us of worship music's true purpose, it also offers a unique and beautiful concept. Any fan of Hillsong UNITED and live worship should fall head over heels for this, while those looking for a little more depth will still do well to check it out.

- Review date: 7/17/16, written by Lucas Munachen of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Sparrow Records / Hillsong / Capitol CMG
. Album length: 15 tracks: 99 minutes, 5 seconds
. Street Date: July 15, 2016
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon.com
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Here Now (Madness) [Live] (7:33)
  2. Say the Word (Live) (3:43)
  3. Heart Like Heaven (Falling) [Live] (8:14)
  4. Touch the Sky (Live) (4:05)
  5. Street Called Mercy (Live) (3:56)
  6. When I Lost My Heart to You (Hallelujah) [Live] (8:21)
  7. Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) [Live] (5:50)
  8. Prince of Peace (Live) (8:11)
  9. Empires (Live) (7:16)
  10. Rule (Live) (3:56)
  11. Captain (Live) (6:23)
  12. Closer Than You Know (Live) (10:03)
  13. I Surrender (Live) (6:10)
  14. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) [Live] (8:06)
  15. Scandal of Grace (I'd Be Lost) [Live] (7:18)

 



Leave a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

           
Pre-Order the new CD from Chase Tremaine!

Search JFH



This Friday, October 11
11th Hour The Greatest Gift [Crossroads]
The Devil Wears Prada The Act [Solid State]
Carolina Boys Quartet Take A Stand [Crossroads]
Clay Crosse Freewill Offering (independent)
Down East Boys Comfort And Joy [Crossroads]
David Dunn Yes & No - Single [BEC]
Amy Grant Christmas Vinyl Box Set [AG]
Hillsong Worship Awake [Hillsong/Capitol]
Coby James No Trouble - EP [Centricity]
Keith & Kristyn Getty & Ellie Holcomb Elizabeth (Live) - Single [Getty Music]
The Lore Family Hidden Blessings [Crossroads]
Master's Voice The Season To Sing [Crossroads]
MDSN Who We Are - Single [Integrity]
Leigh Nash Don't Let Me Die in Dallas - Single (independent)
RED Hemorrhage - Single [RED/The Fuel]
Royal Company Jesus It's You - Single [DREAM]
Y + YA Beyond - EP [DREAM]


Next Friday, October 18
Citizen Way Love is a Lion [Fair Trade]
Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy 2econd Wind [Fair Trade]
Donna King All The Lights [Journey/Vertical Sky]


For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the new album from Michael J. Tinker!




Listen to the new album from Union Creative!