Zion by Hillsong UNITED  | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseTuesday.com

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Zion [edit]
by Hillsong UNITED | Genre: Praise & Worship | Release Date: February 26, 2013
 

After a two year wait, UNITED releases the highly anticipated Zion this February 26, 2013. While the band takes undeniable steps forward sonically, Zion still retains the hallmarks of the band that has brought the world some of the most sung worship songs to date.

Having caught a fresh vision for what it is that UNITED is called to do and what it means to be a part of the Church. Zion is ultimately about the realization that God is doing His thing, and He has already done it, He is establishing His Church, and it’s through us. UNITED’s Joel Houston shares about the genesis of the project, “The album was birthed out of our cry, God I want to be a part of what it is you’re doing. If that means write a song, we’ll write the best songs we can. If it means serving the poor and those who are hurting, then we’re going to do it better than we’ve ever done it before.”

Track Listing
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
01. Relentless
02. Up In Arms
03. Scandal Of Grace
04. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
05. Stay and Wait
06. Mercy Mercy
07. Love Is War
08. Nothing Like Your Love
09. Zion (Interlude)
10. Heartbeats
11. A Million Suns
12. Tapestry
13. King Of Heaven
14. Arise*
15. Mountain*
16. Mercy Mercy (reloaded)*
17. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) (reloaded)*
18. Stay and Wait (reloaded)*

Entry last edited by SydneyFireworks on 03.17.13

Christian CD Reviews
(5) Total Review(s) | Average NRTeam Rating:
Rated 4 Stars
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Elraen (76)
Rated 4.5 Stars

Songs for the Kingdom | Posted February 26, 2013
Over the past decade and a half, Hillsong has held steady as one of the most monumental names in contemporary worship. Whether released under the Hillsong Live or the Hillsong United branding, the music coming from Australia's Hillsong Church and its global satellites continues to make an incalculable impact in the worldwide Church. The latest ripple of that impact is Hillsong United's Zion, a richly textured release that manages to achieve an intimate, organic feel despite the band's massive international reach.
 
From the opening swell of the first track "Relentless," it's apparent that this is the collective's most heavily electronic album to date. In moments on tracks like "Nothing Like Your Love" and "Up In Arms," the carefully crafted instrumentation is almost reminiscent of the stronger elements of 80s synth rock. Musically, each song carries a strong sense of focus, which helps even the longer tracks like "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" and "Love Is War" drive deep throughout their duration.

Some of the songs still capture the massive arena feeling Hillsong has cultivated in the past, such as in the beautifully written "Love is War," which soars musically as it outlines the victory of Christ's love over both physical and spiritual death. 
 
In addition to the dynamic and varied sonic techniques, this album brings some incredible lyrics to the table, established firmly in a sound reliance on scripture. At a time when it's all too easy to create catchy yet theologically shallow music for the church, Hillsong United instead dives deep while still creating a presentation accessible to Christ-followers at any point in their faith. "Scandal of Grace" explores the counter-intuitive, counter-cultural concept of grace, approaching the subject from a sense of overwhelmed awe. The vivid "A Million Suns" uses celestial imagery of sun and stars to capture God's eternal nature. "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" comes as a vulnerable prayer echoing an episode in the life of Christ's apostle Peter, asking God to take us into the deep waters where faith alone can sustain us: "You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery, in oceans deep my faith will stand."
 
In each song, musical beauty is married to functionality, as in the rhythmic "Heartbeat" where the steady but subtle beat serves to reinforce the theme of a heart that "beats forever just to know You." Possibly the most instrumentally varied selection, "Tapestry," employs a variety of sounds as it weaves together many themes from the album in one song for God's people: "our lives a tapestry of grace Your hand has weaved together." The dedicated declarations of "Stay and Wait" are supported by the steadying swell of richer vocal tones. Some of the tracks strip away the electronic elements and rely on a traditional piano sound that tugs at memories of old hymns, such as in the reverent closing cut "King Of Heaven."
 
The deluxe version of the album offers two new tracks plus three re-imagined versions of songs found on the standard release. "Arise" is a beautiful selection leaning musically on a raw acoustic guitar tone as it calls to the world to "arise, for the kingdom has come." "Mountain" focuses on the concept of Christ as cornerstone, capturing the scriptural concept of Matthew 21:42 with the phrase "the stone the builders rejected, laid to ransom a fractured bride." Each of the re-imagined tracks ("Mercy Mercy," "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)," and "Stay and Wait") provides an intriguing and more heavily electronic mixed alternative to the standard releases.
 
Closing Thoughts:
Although this album carries strong traces of the indie and electronic vibes widespread in the current music scene, it by no means loses musical excellence or spiritual intensity. Rather than a contrived attempt at relevance, Zion crafts a soundtrack for God's people that is in every note and word intentional and Heaven-bent. These songs should easily satisfy and encourage longtime Hillsong followers, and they also have the potential to draw in a new audience from segments of Christians who often struggle to connect with worship music. This album is certain to take its place as an important moment in the contemporary Church's conversations with God.


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ofytube (162)
Rated 3 Stars

Zion | Posted February 17, 2014
You really should buy the third studio album Zion by Hillsong UNITED. These worshippers will make you praise with their songs. And you really need to listen to their music. Let's adore Him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It's okay | Posted August 08, 2013
 This album is good but personally, I don't like this album as much as the previous albums from Hillsong United. It seems their sound is becoming more mainstream now. That being said, Oceans is a fantastic song both lyrically and musically. 

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Indie Pop | Posted July 27, 2013
This is such an incredible album. I remember streaming through it on iTunes before the album was up for sale and I remembered thinking to myself that there were no "pumped" songs on this album. I just encourage you if you're reading this that this album was done with excellence all the way from the songwriting and the music arrangement, all the way to the producing and the engineering of it. Good job guys!

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patpc36 (63)
Rated 5 Stars

Classic Hillsong- another great CD | Posted March 02, 2013
 Hillsong has come up win another classic worship CD.  Joel and the team has produced a great project with creative lyrics and their "sound" if you buy or download a cd this month make this your first one.



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