LABEL: SPARROW RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 2010
f I have to explain who Hillsong is to you, then my first question to you would be, “What rock have you been living under the last 19 years?!” then I might ask, “Where is this rock? Because I wouldn’t mind living under it after I heard this album.” Too harsh? I’ll let you decide, but here is my humble opinion on Hillsong’s latest offering, Yahweh.
Having made a name for themselves in the worship and CCM genres, Australia’s Hillsong LIVE, have been nothing short of a phenomenon; with multiple platinum and gold albums under their belt and songs played in more churches than anyone can truly keep track of, all over the globe. Their music is unmistakable. So when I heard that Hillsong was releasing a new franchise called, “Chapel”; a collection of their hits, stripped down to their bones and performed in an intimate, contemplative style, I was curious to say the least. Having done a number of their songs with my churches worship team, we were eager to hear new renditions of our favorites and adapt them to freshen up tried and true anthems. When at last I heard the record, I was incredibly underwhelmed. Rather than breathing new life into modern classics, Hillsong literally replaced the electric guitar with an acoustic and a drum kit for some djembes. While to an average listener, this may not be a bad thing, to a worship leader, this was a disappointment to end all disappointments. Unlike many other bands who release acoustic albums or EP’s, Hillsong did not offer up new interpretations of a single song on Yahweh.
Another resounding absence from this record is its lack of Hillsong classics; none of the songs on Yahweh are more than 7 years old. Forgive me for being a bit repetitive, but I was honestly expecting Hillsong to dust off some oldies and deliver fresh arrangements for the churches that have been playing the songs for nearly 20 years.
To sum it all up, for the casual listener, Yahweh is probably your dream come true; no roaring crowds erupting into fits of applause and screeches after every song, it is simply put a relaxing worship album that you can play during prayer time, or bed time. To the more avid fan, you really won’t find anything new here. Skip Yahweh and grab Gateway Worship’s The More I Seek You or wait for Hillsong UNITED’s upcoming album, Aftermath.
Author’s Note: While Yahweh is not devoid of genuine worshipful moments, the whole album felt like a marketing ploy to commemorate Hillsong’s recent signing with EMI-CMG. While I hope this isn’t the case, I couldn’t shake the feeling.