A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong Worship  | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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A Beautiful Exchange [edit]
by Hillsong Worship | Genre: Praise & Worship | Release Date: June 29, 2010

Hillsong Live returns with an all-new album entitled, A Beautiful Exchange. Recorded at Hillsong Church in Australia, these powerful worship songs explore themes including sacrifice & redemption ("A Beautiful Exchange"), extraordinary love ("God Is Love"), and comforting hope ("Forever Reign") which is also the first radio single and looks to be a song that will be quickly adopted by churches everywhere. Hillsong Live albums are moving experiences led by worship leaders including Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, and Darlene Zschech to name a few. Other key songs include: "Believe" & "The One Who Saves".

Track Listing
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
01. Our God Is Love
02. Open My Eyes
03. Forever Reign
04. The One Who Saves
05. Like Incense / Sometimes By Step
06. The Greatness Of Our God
07. The Father's Heart
08. You
09. Love Like Fire
10. Believe
11. A Beautiful Exchange
12. Thank You
13. Forever Reign (Radio Version)

Entry last edited by ElevateIntern17 on 09.24.10

Christian CD Reviews
(11) Total Review(s) | Average NRTeam Rating:
Rated 4 Stars
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Hillsong: A Beautiful Exchange Review | Posted July 30, 2010
When it comes to Hillsong, I tend to be intermediate. I enjoy listening to Hillsong here and there, but generally, I tend to go for Hillsong United. When A Beautiful Exchange was released, I was surprised to find out that not only did I enjoy it, I couldn’t stop listening to it.

One thing that really stood out to me about A Beautiful Exchange is how obvious it is that the worship leaders of Hillsong only want to point people to Christ. In Darlene Zscheck’s own words: “Father, let them quickly get their eyes off of us. We just want to point them to you, God, because you are the Author of truth. You are the only One who is to be praised.”

Led by Reuben Morgan, Darlene Zscheck, and Joel Houston, and featuring appearances by many others, A Beautiful Exchange has something for everyone. Beginning with the powerful upbeat track “Our God Is Love” led by Hillsong United’s very own Joel Houston (and written by Joel and Brooke Fraser Ligterwood’s husband, Scott), we find crowds shouting out these awesome lyrics: “This is love/ Jesus came and died and gave His life for us/ Let our voices rise and sing for all He's done/ Our fear is overcome,” and then leads into a chanting “Our God is Love!” This is clearly an immediate sensation. “Open My Eyes” follows, and is led by worship leader Reuben Morgan. This track retains the sound of “Our God is Love,” and contains these lyrics: “Open my eyes, oh God/ open my heart to see/ all the wonder and the power of Your name/ By your grace I live/ By your grace I see/ All my life and my salvation is in You.”

“Forever Reign” was the highlight of the album, led by Jad Gillies. Things slow down a bit with this track, but it is obvious that this track will find itself at the top of charts, as with “Shout to the Lord” or “Hosanna.” In fact, it is already finding itself remade by other contemporary worship bands. I very much enjoyed the powerful worshipful lyrics of the chorus: “Oh, I’m running to Your arms/ I’m running to Your arms/ The riches of Your love/ Will always be enough/ Nothing compares to Your embrace/ Light of the world forever reign.”

Ben Fielding leads “The One Who Saves,” and it again contains simple yet profound lyrics with outstanding worship: “We have found our hope/ We have found our peace/ We have found our rest in the One who loves/ He will light the way/ He will lead us home/ As we offer all to the One who saves.” The highlight of this track was the bridge which simply says, “His love endures/ forever His love endures/ forever and ever.” I find Hillsong’s bridges to be some of the greatest musical accomplishments.

Another highlight was “Like Incense/ Sometimes By Step,” a song that was led by Brooke Fraser Ligterwood (singer of “Hosanna”). This song actually combines two verses written by Brooke with the chorus of Rich Mullins’ famous track “Sometimes By Step.” Running 7 minutes, it is a song that you cannot help but throw up your hands in worship to. I found this to be one of my favorite tracks from the record. It is then followed by “The Greatness of Our God,” written by Reuben Morgan and Stu Garrard, formerly of Delirious? Although not as full as the version popularized by Natalie Grant, it contains the same sentiment and is about the overwhelming power of our God.

Jorim Kelly leads “The Father’s Heart,” a song about God’s glory. Again, the highlight was the bridge: “Whoa/ Sin is broken/ The lost now chosen/ The Father's heart.” This track, although on the slower side of things, boasts on behalf of Hillsong’s “alive” drums. After “The Father’s Heart,” Joel Houston gets things rolling again with “You.” The highlight, is the second half of the first verse: “My dreams have found a purpose/ my future in Your hands/ this life would have no meaning if it weren’t for You.” This song highlights all the wonders of God: “It is You who breaks these chains/ It is You who lights the way/ and everything I am cries out to You!”

“Love Like A Fire” comes next, and slows down the pace a bit. Written and sung by Matt Crocker it is obviously about the consuming fire of God: “Your love is like a fire/ burns for all to see/ My only desire/ to worship at Your feet/ so let this fire consume my life!/ Let Your love take me deeper/ Draw me closer to where You are/ ‘cause all I want is more of You!” “Believe” is another slower-paced track lead by Darlene Zschech and offers these lyrics: “I will sing/ You are strong enough/ In my weakness God be lifted up/ and I will sing/ lift Your praises high/ Lord be magnified/ You make all things new/ I will believe.”

“Beautiful Exchange” was the slowest track on the record and also the longest. It speaks of the “beautiful exchange” of Jesus giving His life for our sins. In my opinion, it’s a little too slow, but still a beautiful song. “Beautiful Exchange” is led by Hillsong worship leaders Joel Houston and Annie Garratt. Reuben Morgan then sings the last live track on A Beautiful Exchange, “Thank You,” a song thanking God for salvation, and His giving His life for us.

My favorite track on A Beautiful Exchange was the last track, the “Forever Reign” radio version. Because it was recorded in the studio, it is obviously more full, and has more depth and therefore does not contain a crowd of people singing at the depth of their lungs. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the shorter remake.

Summary: Hillsong’s A Beautiful Exchange actually surprised me in two main ways: for one, it had some tracks (especially the two upbeat ones led by Joel) that were Hillsong United style, and therefore caught my attention. Secondly, I was amazed at the simplicity of the lyrics, yet the depth they contain. I am not aware of any other CD that provokes worship like Hillsong’s A Beautiful Exchange. I would rank this CD one of Hillsong’s best albums, sitting beside “For All You’ve Done” or “Blessed.” This is an awesome CD!

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Hillsong LIVE [A Beautiful Exchange] | Posted June 23, 2010
With more than 11-million albums sold worldwide, Hillsong LIVE returns with 12 new songs for its 19th recording, A Beautiful Exchange, set to release June 29th on Sparrow Records. The album was recorded live Nov. 8th along with thousands of worshippers gathered together in Sydney Australia and features new songs by worship leaders Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech and others. Known for such worldwide worship anthems as “Shout To The Lord,” “Mighty To Save,” “From the Inside Out,” “Hosanna,” and “Desert Song,” I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and A Beautiful Exchange is truly stellar and my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE.

A Beautiful Exchange opens with a new song co-written by Joel Houston called “Our God Is Love.” 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 next pair of songs “Open My Eyes,” co-written by Reuben Morgan, and “Forever Reign,” co-written by Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram. The lyrics are excellent and worshipful and for me, this track order is the best of all of the Hillsong collections. The musical styles blend perfectly. A studio version of “Forever Reign” is also the last track and is the first radio single from A Beautiful Exchange. Nashville-based artists have been covering Hillsong to much acclaim and radio success, most recently Laura Story’s recording of “Mighty To Save” and Selah’s recording of “Hosanna.” “Forever Reign” has a great bridge “my heart will sing, no other Name…Jesus, Jesus” and is the stand-out song on the collection. “The One Who Saves” keeps the reflective flow going into my personal favorite recording on the album “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step.” Brooke Ligertwood co-wrote and sings her original song as a medley with the Rich Mullins song and I can’t get enough of this song. You’ll be singing along at the top of your lungs with the crowd and then at some point hopefully with your church congregation. Great song.

“Greatness Of Our God” is co-written by Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram and Stu Garrard of Delirious? Darlene Zschech sings the lead vocals and the song reminds me of the classic “I Give You My Heart.” Back to the Coldplay musical style, “The Father’s Heart” picks up the tempo with a solid drum beat and will have you clapping and singing along with this worship anthem which includes a “Viva La Vida” style keyboard/string part. “You” was written by Joel Houston and keeps the electronic beat going, this time mixing in the signature Hillsong Brit-Rock type guitar riffs. “Love Like Fire” was written by Matt Crocker, who wrote one of my favorite songs from the last Hillsong UNITED album, “Oh You Bring.”

“Believe” was written by Reuben Morgan and Darlene Zschech and reminds me of “The Potter’s Hand.” It is wonderful to hear Darlene singing great new worship anthems as her songs “Shout To The Lord” and “My Redeemer Lives” all but started the female worship leader genre. The title track “Beautiful Exchange” was written by Joel Houston and similar to “Tear Down The Walls” from the Hillsong UNITED album, it has an epic and ambient feel and really draws you in to worship our amazing God who made the exchange of His only Son Jesus to save us from our sins. “Thank You” closes out the live recordings before the studio version of “Forever Reign.”

If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially “Open My Eyes,” “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step,” “Greatness Of Our God,” “The Father’s Heart,” “Thank You” and “Forever Reign.” I eagerly await each new Hillsong release and A Beautiful Exchange is truly stellar and my top overall album by Hillsong LIVE.

Rating: 9.3 out of 10 (93%, A-)

Review written by: Kevin Davis | Review can also be found here.

This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org. Click here to visit ChristianMusicReview.org today!

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Lustrous Worship | Posted November 28, 2013

Only with Hillsong United and Hillsong LIVE do I ever feel like I am truly worshiping the Lord on my own in song. This album is my personal favorite out of my collection of Matthew West, Thousand Foot Krutch, Chris Tomlin, and other christian artists. 

I love how the music is centered around worship in a mild contemporary while offering slight heritage tastes. "Forever Reign" is personally my new favorite song, but I adore all of the full-hearted worship songs offered in this album. If you're looking for an CD that offers both eccentric beats or for quiet worship, this CD would excel all of your requirements.

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Great | Posted July 10, 2012
Your music is so uplifting!!!!! It is good to know that there is still great music out there to be shared with the entire world. Keep up the excellent work!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing and keep on keeping on. God bless.

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Great Album! Still room for some theological improvement | Posted October 26, 2010
Hillsong continues to prove itself to be a juggernaut in the worship music industry. Now long ago in modern worship years, worship leader Darlene Zschech put Hillsong on the international map with "Shout to the Lord," and they have never since faded in influence over Western evangelical worship (and they have decidedly broken into non-Western international contexts, as well). Hillsong is a Pentecostal megachurch, so all their worship music is colored by their charismatic heritage.


Worth Getting It?
Yes. With each passing listen, it ministers to my heart more and more. It blesses me most when I am listening to it with devotional intention. Unlike some past Hillsong albums, I'm finding much less to raise an eyebrow at theologically. Modern worship songwriting still needs to understand the difference between songs and expressions which are a part of private, devotional worship and songs which are intended for congregations. So, again, for the personal listener the album is great, but not every song translates into the corporate worship experience (I recognize that all these songs have for Hillsong, but I respectfully disagree that some should.)

Songs I Would Most Likely Lead in Worship:
Tier 1: "Our God is Love," "The One Who Saves," "Thank You"
Tier 2: "Open My Eyes," "Like Incense / Sometimes By Step," "The Father's Heart"
(Read comments in the song-by-song analysis below for further explanation)


The New Face of Hillsong. This album is a testament to what is happening in the worship leadership down in Sydney. With the maturation of the first generation of Hillsong United worship leaders (United is Hillsong's youth, college, and young adult expression)--Joel Houston, Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood, Jad Gillies, and Matt Crocker--we're seeing them graduate into Hillsong-main and appear on albums like this one. This transfer was also evident when I saw Hillsong United here in Loveland, CO several months back. Houston and Ligertwood were there, but they were also giving air time to some newer, younger faces. But personnel is not the only thing transferring from Hillsong United to Hillsong-main.

Musicality. This album witnesses a stylistic blend of the more adult-contemporary, mainstream sound of Hillsong with the gritty, adolescent fervor of Hillsong United. You could either call it a more pumped-up Hillsong or a more mellowed Hillsong United. Pick your poison. The clues are in the more edgy electric guitar work (e.g. the more punk-style opening measures of "Open My Eyes" or the detuned, feedbacky outro to "Believe"), the more aggressive United-style drumming (lots of tom-work and a more constant use of the kick drum on solid eighths or sixteenths), and a lot more ambient, "experimental" sounds from the guitars and keys. However, the regular Hillsong vibe penetrates in many of the melody lines, vocal harmonies, and familiar chord progressions. Musically speaking, then, the album is beautiful...

Accessibility. To my ear, Hillsong has always been more accessible for congregations than Hillsong United. If they're highly synchopated in their vocal rhythms, there's enough consistency to make it catchable in short order. A Beautiful Exchange is a very singable album (with the caveat that every song could be transposed down a few steps). Vocal lines are melismatic, without too many leaps in awkward places. If there are leaps, they are textually appropriate. However, it's one thing to sing these songs, and it's another thing to play these songs. I regularly underestimate how hard it is to reproduce the dynamic and ambient fullness of their musical sound in our worship context...

Theological Depth. Theologically, Hillsong has always focused on the basics...the essentials. Therefore, in every album including this one, we'll hear a lot about the cross, salvation, healing, and its interpersonal intersection with the individual Christian. This is a beautiful thing! Though I don't feel anything is flat out erroneous, I have commented in the past my discomfort with Hillsong's triumphalism--victorious proclamations of what I can do with my faith for God. Of course triumph is a reality of the Christian faith, but we must never put our stock there. We must put our stock in the Gospel...

For the full review and a song-by-song analysis, visit: http://www.zachicks.com/blog/2010/7/5/album-review-of-a-beautiful-exchange-by-hillsong.html

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Awesome! | Posted August 24, 2010
I've been playing this album repeatedly since I bought it. I'm able to be lost in worship and focused on God and who He is. My favorite songs are: Like Incense, Beautiful exchange and Thank you.

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klamee (1)
Rated 5 Stars

Wonderful | Posted July 25, 2010
The Beautiful Exchange album by Hillsong is exhilarating! The music is so uplifting and the lyrics meaningful. My favourite song was Like Incense/Sometimes by Step. on an unrelated note, I think that album graphics (the .pdf file from iTunes) were beautifully designed. In the department of quality, although I am not an audiophile, I did think that the sound quality of the album was really good. As well, the music videos were clear. One area which I think Hillsong can improve on is adding more words to the music. In some songs, I found that the lyrics were repeated over and over again and I thought that may have detracted a bit from the meaning of the songs. Having more lyrics (or more words) would have added more weight to the songs. Overall, this album was arguably the best album Hillsong has put out to date!

P.S. I got the album the day it came out, but only signed up for an NRT account today, so I may be late to the game of reviewing it.

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What an awesome album | Posted July 06, 2010
When I bought this album I decided not to skip any of the track or repeat any before listening to all of them, but I now found myself listening to entire album over and over again...by the way I'm still doing that. my friend the other day said I was abusing it...lol. Ive dedicated this whole week to listening to this album, all I can say if you don't have it already is it worth every dime you spend on it. Fantastic album I'd comfortably give it 15 out of 10...that's just how awesome I found it. Go get yourself a copy & you wont regret!!!

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Beautiful | Posted July 05, 2010
I totally love hillsong Live. I love their music and there has not been an album that they have released that I have not liked.May the Lord continue to use them to reach the masses through music.

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ruthw7 (55)
Rated 4 Stars

A Beautiful Exchange, Hillsong Live | Posted July 02, 2010
This is a very energetic album. If you have been having a bad day, put this album on and you will be almost instantaneouly energized. You will not be albe to sleep or even nap through this album.

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