Zion – Hillsong United

One of the things about being a musician and leading the worship through music at a church is that many of the songs start to sound the same. There was a funny video put on youtube that is incredible true: How to Write a Worship Song in 5 Minutes or Less. All it takes is 4 chords and some popular “catch phrases” that people like to sing. Is this enough? As I’ve said before, I’m tired of Christians writing bad music, and the popular worship music that has been written recently has all started to sound the same. Yes, the words are good and I think many of the songs are very good songs, but I’ve been hoping and waiting for a little innovation. Enter: Hillsong United with their new CD Zion. This is the exact kind of worship CD I’ve been wanting to write!

I was first introduced to Hillsong United after my senior year of high school with the song “Mighty to Save” which I still do regularly at my church. I think Hillsong has tended to be on the front lines of worship music. We’ve gotten used to the music at church being: an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, piano, keyboard, bass, drums and a couple singers. I think Hillsong is starting to push back to that a little on this album. Someone on my facebook commented that it sounds like a mix of Passion Pit and Mumford & Sons. The Passion Pit comparison I can see, but not so much the Mumford & Sons one (side note: for a good Mumford & Sons comparison, listen to Rend Collective Experiment, another one of my recent favorite worship bands). Sure the guitars and pianos and drums are still there, but the main focus musically has been shifted to the electronics, which I think is a good change. In my first listening, my favorite songs are: Relentless, Oceans, Scandal of Grace, and Mercy Mercy. This CD is a must buy for those who are tired of hearing the same songs used for worship. Get the Deluxe Version too-the remixes are fun to listen to.

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