ARTIST – HILLSONG UNITED
ALBUM LENGTH – 13 tracks, 68 Minutes 56 Seconds
STREET DATE – 15 February, 2011
LABEL – Hillsong Music / Sparrow Records
iPod Pick- Bones
Hillsong United takes worship music to a whole new level with ‘Aftermath’. With eclectic sounds ranging from synth pop to Rock. Another thing, this one isn’t a live recording. These time the guys decide to head to the studio. But before we begin, one thing that has got people talking about this album is it starting off with slow song ( Take Heart) which was written and sung by Joel Houston but I think it works well for me. It sets an overall mood for the album.
The album starts with the hope themed song titled ‘Take Heart’ which would soon become a favorite after first listen. It sets the mood for the album in a way though it is followed by the fast paced ‘Go’, an anthemic rock pop sound that would remind you of something you heard on one of those indie rock albums say Deas Vail or in fact Anberlin. ‘Like An Avalanche’ comes next sounding like something Brooke Fraser would write and sing but sorry guys, nothing from Brooke appears on this new CD offering. She’s replaced on this effort by the amazing Jill McCloughtry who performs ‘Like an Avalanche’ and co-wrote (with Joel Houston) and performed ‘Bones’. Now this song (Bones) is my best on the album. It’s worship music crossing boundaries. It sound and music ( I mean no offense) is reminiscent of sounds from Blondie, The Cardigans, Savage Garden and ABBA. It’s a beautiful tune and it’s lyrics amazing!
Another highlight on the album is ‘Rhythm of Grace’ Led by David Ware. It highlights a strength this album has in general, which is it’s very deep and contemplative lyrics. This is seen in every song and I think it’s a trademark of Hillsong, giving new worship song while avoiding the cliche pitfalls. On ‘B.E.’, a short of interlude track, we hear a short of chant in the background of the ‘Beautiful Exchange’ song as the instruments play. It’s breath taking I tell you. The beloved Marty Sampson also appears after quite a while singing ‘Aftermath’ which was penned by Joel Houston.
This album which is Hillsong United’s twelfth album and second studio recording ( first being’All the Above) was produced by Michael Guy Chislett, James Rudder, and Joel Houston. These collaboration was a good one and their handiwork plus hard work is seen all over ‘Aftermath’. Fresh, innovative, pushing boundaries and breaking new grounds in worship music, let’s give it up for Hillsong United this time. This one is a winner!
“in that moment of glorious surrender, was the moment you broke the chains in me. Lifted out of the ashes, I’m found in the aftermath” – From the song Aftermath By Hillsong United.
BY Ayomide Akinkugbe