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JFH Music Review


Phil Wickham, 'I Believe'
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Phil Wickham
I Believe



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Worship
Album length: 14 tracks: 63 minutes
Street Date: August 18, 2023


READER RATING:   


Phil Wickham is in a rut. Album number ten shows zero artistic growth with I Believe a near rinse-and-repeat of his past two offerings. At least, tha's what I started to write upon spinning his newest. After a few more tries, I can soften that sentiment some as I remember what he's aiming for, and more importantly, who he's aiming his songs at. Love it or hate it, this is a modern praise album. That said, it's hard to follow any artist's nearly twenty-year career and love everything they release, and ultimately, I find myself somewhere in the middle.

I Believe is Wickham doing what he's done best over the last decade, providing upbeat and singable declarative worship anthems for the Church. It's been ten years since his first smash hit, "This is Amazing Grace," took the worldwide Church by storm and Phil continues to follow that template here. Some will be over the moon about that approach, and others may still pine for the styles of his earlier work, like Self-Titled and Cannons. I'd fall into the latter category, but I can certainly see the merit in what his newest is trying to do. The album begins strongly with the overall best song, "This Is Our God," and the strong succession of tracks "I Believe," "Sunday is Coming," and "Creator" all follow, providing a great start. It's the middle section that lags with things sounding too much the same and the on-the-nose lyrics beginning to wear thin. "Psalm 23," feat. Tiffany Hudson, and "Holy Moment," feat. Naomi Raine, are the biggest highlights in the middle of the tracklist with the latter particularly standing out. It showcases soaring vocals, and Naomi steals the show with her vocal acrobatics. Lastly, the closer, "Back to Life," takes the stripped-back acoustic guitar approach to end the album on a subdued but excellent note.

All in all, I hate to offer similar criticism to his last album, Hymn of Heaven, but this again is overly long and perhaps better suited as a seven to eight-song album or EP. That's not a knock on only Mr. Wickham, but a large chunk of those churning out modern worship; less is often truly more. Either way, there's plenty here to enjoy on I Believe, and undoubtedly several tracks to add to your worship playlist. "This is Our God" and "Back to Life" are certain to make mine.

- Review date: 8/19/23, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: Fair Trade Services
. Album length: 14 tracks: 63 minutes
. Street Date: August 18, 2023
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: Amazon.com (CD)
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. This Is Our God (4:25)
  2. I Believe (5:02)
  3. Sunday Is Coming (4:52)
  4. Creator (4:16)
  5. Praise The Lord (4:59)
  6. The Jesus Way (4:43)
  7. Wait (5:02)
  8. Psalm 23 (feat. Tiffany Hudson) (4:34)
  9. Isn't He Good (4:18)
  10. 100% (3:51)
  11. Your Name Is Holy (5:04)
  12. Holy Moment (2:23)
  13. Relationship (3:38)
  14. Back To Life (5:56)

 

 



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