Hillsong LIVE [Cornerstone] | Posted June 23, 2012 Staff Reviewer
Hillsong LIVE is the expression of worship from the globally influential Hillsong Church. This year Hillsong LIVE returns with their latest church resource, Cornerstone, which will release on Sparrow Records July 03, 2012. This album will mark the 21st LIVE release from Hillsong. This local church creative team has a commitment to continually resource the Body of Christ with fresh songs of worship and a deep passion to see people connect with the Living God in a real and personal way. The album was recorded live along with thousands of worshippers gathered together in Sydney Australia and features new songs by worship leaders Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding, 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 Cornerstone 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.
Cornerstone opens with “Endless Light.” 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 female led worship songs, “Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)” and “All My Hope” which features gorgeous female vocals that remind me of UNITED’s “Like An Avalanche.” “All My Hope” has an instantly sing-able chorus, “All my Hope is in You, All my strength is in You, with every breath, my soul will rest in You.” 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,” Natalie Grant’s recording of "Greatness Of Our God" and One Sonic Society’s recording of “Forever Reign.” For me, the stand-out song on this collection is the title track “Cornerstone.” I can't get enough of this song and the extremely catchy and worshipful lyrics, “Christ alone, Cornerstone Weak made strong, in the Savior's love, Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of All.” 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” and “Forever Reign” in my opinion. The gorgeous and confessional song “I Surrender” captivates me and mixes in the signature Brit-Rock guitar riffs.
A live version and studio version of “Hope Of The World” is also on the album and is the first radio single from Cornerstone. It opens with “For the love poured out, For the price of freedom, Let the whole earth sing, The praises rising, We stand in awe of what You've done, For us, at the Cross” which really captures the thesis statements of this great album that we “stand in awe” at the Cross. Amen. Back to the Coldplay musical style is a new song called "Running." It will have you clapping and singing along with this worship anthem which includes a “Paradise” style keyboard/string part. “Children Of The Light” features UNITED’s Joel Houston and keeps the upbeat musical tempo going with a solid drum beat. The great song keeps the electronic beat going, this time mixing in the signature Hillsong Brit-Rock type guitar riffs. It has a UNITED rock style, like “Break Free.” Another highlight is “Stand In Awe” which perfectly connects to the prayerful sentiment declared in “Hope Of The World.”
I'm impressed by the consistent quality and fresh worshipful songs from Hillsong LIVE. 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. If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially "Endless Light," "Cornerstone," "Hope of the World," "Running" and "Stand In Awe." I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and Cornerstone is truly stellar and is the top overall album by Hillsong LIVE. Every single song could be added to your Sunday morning worship set.