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".
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Hillsong LIVE [A Beautiful Exchange]| Posted June 23, 2010 [MAIN REVIEW]
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
Hillsong/nothing new| Posted July 21, 2010
Hillsong spews out about twelve to fifteen songs a year. And with every CD they get worse. The audience they do have is one that may stay with them but they won't have any new fans.
There is no lyrical depth, no musical talent only people who write songs to worship God. Now if we were judge them for their worshipping God they would be very high. But Hillsong chooses to put out albums up every year so that opens them up to scrunity over whether you should buy it or wait for your local church to play it. Wait for the church.
If you want some specific songs from them check out: Break Free, One Way, Freedom is Here. But they just are not worth listening to in this new age. The rock is 80s and the lyrics don't reflect anything new except the old songs.