After releasing Look to You from their youth band United on May 3, 2005, the Australian based church Hillsong has continued adding album after album to their name. Their most recent project, entitled God He Reigns, leads thousands upon thousands of worshippers yet again in their 14th live praise and worship album. The album was recorded live on February 27th, 2005 at The Sydney Entertainment Centre. Hillsong songwriters Reuben Morgan, Darlene Zschech (who also released solo albums this year), Marty Sampson, and Joel Houston compiled numerous new Hillsong songs for this recording.
Under Hillsong Recordings, God He Reigns is another album that focuses on leading today's believers in modern worship. The album kicks off with "Let Creation Sing," an appealing song that echoes with the sound of the crowd and clapping. Following is "Salvation Is Here," which made its first appearance on United's Look to You. The title song, "God He Reigns," is a slower worship song on the album and is directly followed by the crowd pleasing "All For Love." The chorus sang by the audience seems to dull and confuse the sound during most of the song, until it is just the audience singing in the background. All the different voices create a cluttered and complex sound that somewhat muddles the listening experience.
Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan have amazingly powerful voices, but they don't seem to shine through in Hillsong's more recent worship albums. Their vocal talents are drowned out by the voices of the 500 plus choir and audience. Their songs seem to hold a sort of soft edge to them that makes the whole album sound rather mellow instead of uplifting and exciting, especially when put in contrast with the background vocals. Despite these facts, the album contains numerous church worthy worship songs.
The album ends with a light "There Is Nothing Like," which gradually becomes stronger as the audience adds volume to the song. Altogether, the album seems to bear a generic Hillsong sound. Fans of Hillsong's past albums will definitely enjoy this live album. It is another record to toss on the pile of Hillsong worship albums. Fans of bands such as Sonicflood or Newsboys may enjoy Hillsong's latest release. Hopefully in the future, they will become more diverse, creative, and stronger in presentation.- Review date: 12/1/05, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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