Hillsong LIVE [God Is Able] | Posted July 18, 2011 Staff Reviewer
With more than 11 million albums sold worldwide, Hillsong LIVE returns with 11 new songs for its 20th recording, God Is Able, set to release July 26th on Sparrow Records. The album was recorded live 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. Hillsong is known for such worldwide worship anthems as "Shout To The Lord," "Mighty To Save," "Hosanna," "Desert Song," and many more modern worship anthems sung by tens of millions every week in worship services around the world. I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and God Is Able is truly stellar and is now my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE. In my opinion, Hillsong has managed to release their newest best album with each release since Mighty To Save.
God Is Able opens with a new song written and sung by Joel Houston called "Rise." 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, the Brit-Rock style worship anthem “With Us,” and “Unending Love,” which features gorgeous female vocals that remind me of UNITED’s “Like An Avalanche.” The anthemic “With Us” has an instantly sing-able chorus, “O God, there’s no end to Your Love, there’s no end to Your Love, You’re with us, You’re with us, there’s nothing in this world that could take You away, You’re with us.” Amen to that! The lyrics are excellent and worshipful and for me, this track order is the best of all of the Hillsong LIVE collections and sounds the most like a Hillsong UNITED collection. The musical styles blend perfectly.
Nashville-based artists have been covering Hillsong to much acclaim and radio success, most recently Laura Story's recording of "Mighty To Save," Chris And Conrad’s recording of “Lead Me To The Cross,” Kari Jobe’s recording of “Healer” and Natalie Grant’s recording of "Greatness Of Our God." For me, the stand-out song on this collection is the title track “God Is Able.” I can't get enough of this song and the extremely catchy and worshipful lyrics, “Lifted up, He defeated the grave, Raised to Life, Our God is Able, In His Name, We overcome, for the Lord, our God is Able.” You'll be singing along at the top of your lungs with the crowd and then at some point hopefully with your church congregation. It is an amazing song and this album’s “Stronger” in my opinion. “The Difference” has a UNITED rock style, like “Break Free.” “Alive In Us” is another catchy song featuring Darlene Zschech singing her heart out and reminds me of “Hosanna” musically. “You Are More” has another excellent female vocal and reminds me of “Desert Song” both in music and message. “My Heart Is Overwhelmed” features a sincere prayer, “I'm found in grace, In love's embrace, My heart is overwhelmed.” This standard-bearing worship album ends with a gorgeous ballad sung by Darlene Zschech, “The Cry Of The Broken.” It is wonderful to hear Darlene singing great new worship anthems as her songs "Shout To The Lord" and "The Potter’s Hand" all but started the female worship leader genre.
I'm impressed by the consistent quality and fresh worshipful songs from Hillsong. I've been singing "The Stand," "From The Inside Out," "Mighty To Save," "Stronger" and many other Hillsong classics at my church for many years and I expect there will be several more worship classics from this album.This album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially "Rise," “With Us,” “Unending Love,” “God Is Able,” “Alive In Us,” “My Heart Is Overwhelmed” and the gorgeous ballad “The Cry Of The Broken.” I eagerly await each new Hillsong release. God Is Able is truly stellar, my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE and my top worship album of the year. Every single song could be added to your Sunday morning worship set.