Hillsong United just won the award for Top Christian Artist last week at the Billboard Music Awards for their platinum selling Oceans(where feet may fail). This week the nine member Ministry band from Australia’s Mega-Church Hillsong Church, released their much anticipated fourth album EMPIRES. The last and third Hillsong album ZION was released in 2013, with much success with “Scandal of grace” and BBMA winner “Oceans”.
The 3 pre-release singles promoting this album were “Touch the sky” performed live on NBC TODAY show “Prince of peace” and “Heart like heaven”. I had the opportunity to get an early release copy to review, as a christian blogger I’m very familiar with all of the Hillsong family music.I was immediately in love with “Touch the sky” when first released, so I was looking forward to what EMPIRES had to offer. After listening to the 12 tracks this past week several times, this album is much different from the latter.
I love the Hillsong worship songs but found that this album was a far more :ethereal”, (which I love, but not what I expected) but that’s ok, and a lot less “worship” when you compare to past albums. As per a private twitter chat with Hillsong worship leader Taya Smith (lead on Oceans)last week, the album was inspired by the Beatitudes and an album of sacrifice each song has a story.
One of the tracks I feel best would work as a church worship song choice would be “Street Called Mercy” with powerful lyrics “you are all I want You are all I need Every breath I take Is a breath to say I am Yours now forever”. I’m looking forward to this summer’s Outcry tour to hear the new album live and in person and to see how the audience responds to the new music. I suggest you check out EMPIRES for yourself, but I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I have and enjoy this new evolution of Hillsong.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this album, my review is based solely on my opinion of the Artist/Album