Every once in awhile, there is an artist that comes along that captures the perfect storm of talent, platform, and longevity. The combination produces a stockpile of fantastic albums and songs over a long period of time. For me, Brooke Fraser is one such artist. She had already been around with her first solo record, What To Do With Daylight, releasing in 2003 in Australia, but I didn’t first catch on to her until hearing her song “None But Jesus” from the Hillsong United album, United We Stand, in 2006. She is the rare artist who can co-exist in the solo realm, as well as part of a collective like the juggernaut Hillsong United. Her ability to do so is largely based around the fact that she is an accomplished songwriter with a beautiful voice.
I have been a fan for over a decade now, and as I skimmed through her songwriting credits, I quickly realized that she has had a tremendous impact on the worship music scene, with many of her songs being sung by thousands of churches each Sunday. Not to mention, her 2006 Albertine album would make any list of my favorite albums released in the last twenty years of Christian music. So music nerd that I am, I endeavored to pick my ten favorite songs that she has either solely penned, or co-written because I cannot help myself when it comes to compiling music lists. Here they are, gleaned from Hillsong United, Hillsong Church, and her solo albums. I hope you enjoy the read, and are either reminded what a great songwriter she is, or find a new song to love.
1. “Hosanna” – All Of The Above (2007)
I love so much about this song! Unlike many of the worship songs since its release, I have not grown tired of this one in the slightest. I love that it can be sung with past, present, or future in mind. The bridge still gets me every time stating, “Heal my heart and make it clean/Open up my eyes to the things unseen/show me how to love/like you have loved me/Break my heart for what breaks yours/everything I am for your Kingdom’s cause/as I walk from earth into eternity.” It doesn’t get much better than this as far as I am concerned.
2. “Faithful” – Albertine (2006)
This is one that I return to often in times of discouragement and reflection. It helps remind me that my faith is not based on my feelings and to keep pressing on. Favorite lyric is the chorus, “When I can't feel you/I have learned to reach out just the same/When I can't hear you/I know you still hear every word I pray/And I want you more than I want to live another day/And as I wait for you maybe I'm made more faithful.”
3. “None But Jesus” – United We Stand (2006)
It was my younger sister Tori (love you!) belting this song out a capella around a campfire that began my love of this song. It is one I had previously heard, but due to that memory, it is locked in as an all-time favorite. A tender declaration that, "There is no one else for me/none but Jesus/crucified to set me free/none but Jesus."
4. “Lead Me To The Cross” – All Of The Above (2007)
“Savior I come/Quiet my soul, remember/Redemption's hill/Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom/Everything I once held dear/I count it all as lost.” Enough said.
5. “Desert Song” – Across The Earth (2009)
The lyrics are powerful and speak for themselves, but I imagine Job saying similar things in the midst of his soul crushing trials. May the same faithfulness be found in each of us. “This is my prayer in the desert/When all that's within me feels dry/This is my prayer and my hunger in me/My God is the God who provides.”
6. “Shadowfeet” – Albertine (2006)
From the first piano strike to the shuffle along chorus, everything about this is a perfect pop gem. I can identify with the following lyrics, “There’s distraction buzzing in my head/saying in the shadows it's easier to stay/but I've heard rumors of true reality/whispers of a well-lit way.”
7. “What A Beautiful Name” – Let There Be Light (2016)
If you have attended a church anytime in the last two years, its likely you have heard/sung this one at least once. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime powerful songs that will be sung for many years to come. The bridge always hits me the hardest proclaiming the truth that, “You have no rival/You have no equal/Now and forever, Our God reigns/Yours is the Kingdom/Yours is the glory/Yours is the Name, above all names.”
8. “Flags” – Flags (2010)
Another in a long line of songs that seek to direct the listener back to a kingdom perspective. She pens some thoughts directed at the gut-wrenching questions we all have. Why do innocent suffer? Why do the wicked prosper? She points the finger at herself which should cause us to hold a mirror to our own hearts stating, “Who's at fault is not important/Good intentions lie dormant and we're all to blame/While apathy acts like an ally/My enemy and I are one and the same.” Raw and convicting. She goes on to end the song on a whispered and hopeful note, “I don't know why the innocents fall/While the monsters stand/I don't know why the little ones thirst/But I know the last shall be first/I know the last shall be first/I know the last shall be first.”
“New Wine” – There Is More (2018)
This is the newest of her songs that I have really connected with, and it was hearing it live that really drove home what an amazing song it is. Perfect for communion, or worshipping alone in your car it’s a call to view suffering as a blessing. “In the crushing/In the pressing/You are making New wine/In the soil, I Now surrender/You are breaking/New ground/So I yield to You and to Your careful hand/When I trust You I don't need to understand.”
10. “Soon” – Across The Earth (2009)
Another song I need to revisit when feeling melancholy. Best line of the understatedly haunting song is the call to keep the heavenly reward in mind, “I will be with the One I love/With unveiled face I'll see Him/There my soul will be satisfied/Soon and very soon.”
There you have it..I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite Brooke Fraser penned tunes? Leave a comment below!
“C.S. Lewis Song” – Albertine (2006)
“Thunder” – Brutal Romantic (2015)
“Love, Where Is Your Fire?” - Albertine (2006)
“Something In The Water” – Flags (2010)
“Arithmetic” – What To Do With Daylight (2003)
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