Hillsong LIVE [A Beautiful Exchange] | Posted June 23, 2010
With more than 11-million albums sold worldwide, Hillsong LIVE returns with 12 new songs for its 19th recording, A Beautiful Exchange, set to release June 29th on Sparrow Records. The album was recorded live Nov. 8th along with thousands of worshippers gathered together in Sydney Australia and features new songs by worship leaders Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech and others. Known for such worldwide worship anthems as “Shout To The Lord,” “Mighty To Save,” “From the Inside Out,” “Hosanna,” and “Desert Song,” I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and A Beautiful Exchange is truly stellar and my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE.
A Beautiful Exchange opens with a new song co-written by Joel Houston called “Our God Is Love.” Right from the opening drum beat and Coldplay-style guitar riffs, I was hooked immediately. If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially the next pair of songs “Open My Eyes,” co-written by Reuben Morgan, and “Forever Reign,” co-written by Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram. The lyrics are excellent and worshipful and for me, this track order is the best of all of the Hillsong collections. The musical styles blend perfectly. A studio version of “Forever Reign” is also the last track and is the first radio single from A Beautiful Exchange. Nashville-based artists have been covering Hillsong to much acclaim and radio success, most recently Laura Story’s recording of “Mighty To Save” and Selah’s recording of “Hosanna.” “Forever Reign” has a great bridge “my heart will sing, no other Name…Jesus, Jesus” and is the stand-out song on the collection. “The One Who Saves” keeps the reflective flow going into my personal favorite recording on the album “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step.” Brooke Ligertwood co-wrote and sings her original song as a medley with the Rich Mullins song and I can’t get enough of this song. You’ll be singing along at the top of your lungs with the crowd and then at some point hopefully with your church congregation. Great song.
“Greatness Of Our God” is co-written by Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram and Stu Garrard of Delirious? Darlene Zschech sings the lead vocals and the song reminds me of the classic “I Give You My Heart.” Back to the Coldplay musical style, “The Father’s Heart” picks up the tempo with a solid drum beat and will have you clapping and singing along with this worship anthem which includes a “Viva La Vida” style keyboard/string part. “You” was written by Joel Houston and keeps the electronic beat going, this time mixing in the signature Hillsong Brit-Rock type guitar riffs. “Love Like Fire” was written by Matt Crocker, who wrote one of my favorite songs from the last Hillsong UNITED album, “Oh You Bring.”
“Believe” was written by Reuben Morgan and Darlene Zschech and reminds me of “The Potter’s Hand.” It is wonderful to hear Darlene singing great new worship anthems as her songs “Shout To The Lord” and “My Redeemer Lives” all but started the female worship leader genre. The title track “Beautiful Exchange” was written by Joel Houston and similar to “Tear Down The Walls” from the Hillsong UNITED album, it has an epic and ambient feel and really draws you in to worship our amazing God who made the exchange of His only Son Jesus to save us from our sins. “Thank You” closes out the live recordings before the studio version of “Forever Reign.”
If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially “Open My Eyes,” “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step,” “Greatness Of Our God,” “The Father’s Heart,” “Thank You” and “Forever Reign.” I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and A Beautiful Exchange is truly stellar and my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE.
Rating: 9.3 out of 10 (93%, A-)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | Review can also be found here.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org. Click here to visit ChristianMusicReview.org today!