Empires is the 4th studio album from Hillsong United, the worship team that gave us the captivating praise songs “Oceans” and “From the Inside Out” and “Desert Song” and “Lead Me To The Cross” (I could on — I really could).
We don’t typically review music here. After all, we are a parenting blog. But when we heard it was Hillsong United, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
As I listened to the album, I must say that the production beautifully captured a worshipful environment. The well-produced textures of sound, the lyrics and the sentiment of each song was just what you would expect from Hillsong United. The heart of this team remains purely tuned to intimacy with God.
On the whole, the music production maintains the excellence that we have come to expect with each Hillsong release. There is no point where the vocals are lost or a prominent part is improperly mixed. The musicianship is flawless, from the actual performance to the interplay of instruments, vocals and percussion.
But I felt two things were lacking from this particular album — the energy and the unique sound that I loved in their earlier albums. The songs on Empires felt homogenized and formulaic. I felt as if I could predict when the dynamic would dip and rise. The bass is heard playing long notes and supporting the low end but not really establishing a groove or a pocket.
Across The Earth: Tear Down Walls was full of energy, and each song had a unique hook that grabbed the listener immediately and held their attention. It seems to me that with their third album Aftermath, their songwriting began to homogenize, and although that album was still full of great moments, their music began then to sound similar enough for one song to meld into the other. Sadly, that was true of Empires as well.
So, although so many of Hillsong United’s earlier songs will always transport me into a deep place of worship, I don’t think I’ll be adding Empires to my playlist.
But that’s just me. I want YOU to decide for yourself! If you are a fan, as I am. Take this opportunity to win a free copy of your own.
Simply leave a comment below with your email address, and you will be entered into a drawing for a free CD.
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Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
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