With this project, Hillsong United hasn't deviated much from their usual formula of taking church worship songs and giving them a rock edge. Of course, that's what they excel at. The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts As One is a bit of a mixed bag, with some very satisfying songs and some not-so-exciting recordings. Actually, it's on the more energetic tracks that they shine, with the band doing full justice to the potential of the songs. When it rolls around to the quieter tracks, however, it's a bit reminiscent of any given Hillsong Live album.
New for United, The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts As One is a two-disc project, with thirty tracks in total. Interestingly, the songs have been recorded from many of the different countries where they have performed, making this the major differentiating factor from their other releases. Only one of those songs is actually new-"You'll Come"-making this a global re-recording of relatively well-known Hillsong anthems; some of these are quite good, with the enthusiasm that United are well-known for clearly evident in these recordings, as well as the crowd's excitement. A major downer, though, is that most of the album's tracks just sound like the usual contemporary Christian worship music, with very little standing out. Another problem is that you sometimes can't hear the lyrics over the sound of the crowd, which pretty much nullifies the use of this record for something like worship band practice. Of course, with the crowd being mixed in louder than usual, it does admittedly make for a more accurate representation of their concerts, and in its own way is stimulating (albeit forced), though it's a poor substitute for actually being there.
Granted, there are some excellent tracks on this album, but if you already own one of their previous live projects, or their studio record All of the Above, then there is probably no need to purchase With Hearts As One. Still, Hillsong United does put in a solid performance for their louder songs, which is only accentuated by the fervour of the crowd; in the end, this may be the project's saving grace.- Review date: 4/24/08, written by Adam Dawson
Record Label: Integrity Music
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