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Y+F Grows Up
Posted July 10, 2018
By JohnHisel_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need To Know
Hillsong Young & Free broke down the doors and burst into the Praise and Worship scene of Christian music in 2013 with their single "Alive" from their debut We Are Young And Free. Three years later came Youth Revival, with a trifecta of instant party starters in "Where You Are," "Real Love," and "This Is Living," with the latter featuring an appearance from none other than Lecrae. To call the first two records from Hillsong Church's youth movement a high bar would be an understatement. The latest LP, III, only continues the upward trajectory. 
What It Sounds Like
Sonically, III will be familiar for anyone who is a current Young and Free fan. It's 17 tracks of thick synth and keyboards, with the soaring vocals that we've come to expect of any project associated with Hillsong. However, there are less blazing, bouncing tracks, and many more mid-tempo and worship songs. After a few listens, you get the feeling that this is a Y+F who has lived some life over the past six years and have come out with meaningful songs to sing. The fast, fun songs are still there, but there is an overall maturity to the songwriting.
Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights
Every song the album could be mentioned in this category, but as mentioned above, these songs feel deeper than even some of Young & Free's best songs to date. A favorite lyrically is "First Love," which contains lines like "I won't wash away/like branches and rain/I'd rather by kindling in the light." Deep spiritual imagery is woven throughout, and honest questions are asked and answered throughout III.
Best Song On The Record
Album opener and lead single "Let Go" is a great choice, as is the second song "Every Little Thing." However, there is so much to like throughout this record that listeners will find their favorites changing the more they listen. A particular favorite from the later part of III is "How Deep The Love."
Final Word
Hillsong Young & Free have managed to keep the fun and unique musical style they are known for, while simultaneously going deeper than they ever have. There are songs for every part of the spiritual walk and songs for those who sometimes have more questions than answers, and it's all wrapped in top-notch production.

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