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A Soundtrack For Reflection
Posted December 19, 2017
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer

Many people say that Christmas is a feeling, a state of mind, that we can hold Christmas in our hearts year round. Although this is somewhat true, for the majority of Christians, it is one of the foundations of our faith. It is a time of peace and joy, tradition and wonder. Hillsong Worship's new album Christmas: The Peace Project evokes all of these emotions and more. This project is filled with both new takes and traditional treatments of classic carols and a few worship songs that deliver the gospel message and would be as much at home in July as they are during the Lenten season.

The album opens with new, yet respectful treatments of "Joy to the World" and "Hark." While "Joy to the World" sticks mainly to the classic rendition we all have come to know and love, "Hark" is a modern take on "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."  

Along with these traditional carols, the team from Hillsong gives us a new rendition of  "O Come All Ye Faithful" that builds from a simple acoustic guitar throughout into a large chorale ensemble. The drums build and draw us into the place of worship that we are so used to being in with Hillsong. Rounding out the updated carols is "Noel."

If Hillsong has become known for one thing, it is the ability to provide worship songs for the Church that are timely for the here and now. Whether it be the contemplative "Seasons," the worshipful "Prince of Heaven" or the radio friendly "When I Think Upon Christmas," the worship team at Hillsong has provided us with new music that will quickly become classics for the season.

A highlight on this album is the treatment of "O Holy Night." The song holds a special place in my heart as it was during this song 23 years ago that I first felt the presence of the Lord, that opened my heart to walk with Christ. I get offended when the song is mistreated or changed, so it was at this song that my heart rested and cemented Christmas: The Peace Project as an album I will replay again and again.

The album ends with "Peace Upon The Earth." A beautiful lullaby set to Chopin's "Nocturne op.9 No. 2." This new creation from something old is perhaps the most ambitious moment on the album. The lyrics are beautiful and endearing, however, I was longing for soaring vocals to match the composition.

The Bottom Line: Hillsong Worship has given us a very special project with Christmas: The Peace Project. It is the perfect soundtrack as you sit and reflect on the goodness of God at this time, remembering the most precious gift that we ever received: Jesus.

Song to Download Now
"O Holy Night" (Get it on iTunes here.) 

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