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Worship Album of the Year
Posted June 24, 2021
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need to Know
Leading corporate worship nationwide, Phil Wickham is known for hits such as “At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh),” “This is Amazing Grace,”Your Love Awakens Me,” “Song in My Soul,” and “Living Hope.” His 2018 release Living Hope was my top worship album of 2018. He describes the truths he is learning with a powerful and poignant voice through enthusiastic and passionate cries of worship. After a three-year wait, Wickham returns with Hymn of Heaven. The album was preceded by the impactful singles, “Battle Belongs,” “House of the Lord” and “It’s Always Been You.”

What it Sounds Like
I've long been a fan of Brit-rock bands like U2, Keane, Snow Patrol and others who make emotional alternative rock music, but don't always have edifying messages. The first time I heard Phil Wickham's song "Grace" from his self-titled major label debut, I was hooked by his enthusiastic and reverent songs, layered with a Brit-rock musical vibe. I've felt that he's improved with each new album and Hymn of Heaven takes me to another realm of holiness and thirsting for God's presence. Phil Wickham has breathed several new worship anthems into the Church, like "You're Beautiful," "Cannons," "Because of Your Love," “This is Amazing Grace,” “Stand in Awe,” “Great Things” and “Living Hope.” We sing all of those songs at my church on a regular basis and you’ll want to add “Battle Belongs,” “House of the Lord,” “Hymn of Heaven,” “It’s Always Been You,” “Where I’m Standing Now” and “God of Revival” to your worship set-lists immediately.
 
Spiritual Highlights
“Battle Belongs” is exactly the type of catchy corporate worship song I’ve come to love from Phil Wickham. What I love about this powerful standout anthem is its convicting declaration: “So when I fight/I'll fight on my knees/With my hands lifted high/Oh God, the battle belongs to You." The song’s energy and excitement are infectious. It makes me lift my hands up to God and sing before Him, like King David—passionately unashamed. You’ll also instantly sing along with "Hymn of Heaven,” “It’s Always Been You," “Where I’m Standing Now” featuring Brandon Lake, "His Name is Jesus," and “God of Revival.” Each song includes tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about our faith in Jesus. Every song is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. A sincere desire to experience the presence of God can be heard in every song, with expressions including “Who stood with me in the fire/It was You, it was always You/Who pulled me out of the water/It was You, it was always You/And who carried me/On their shoulders/It was You, I know it’s You" in the standout instant classic, “It’s Always Been You.”
 
Best Song on the Record
“House of the Lod” gives me a lot of joy, and my heartbeat is to please the Lord. I love songs that allow me to have fun and praise God at the same time, and this song certainly does that. I really enjoy how my love of fun, uplifting music and biblical truth is perfectly married in this song. The song is also a great reminder that our circumstances don't define our joy. Our position in Christ and His unending faithfulness is worthy of all our gratitude and adoration. A sincere desire to experience the presence of God can be heard in this instant classic song. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. There are several standout songs. If you've always enjoyed Wickham’s corporate worship anthems, you're in for a treat with this album. It has a great balance upbeat and reflective songs and it is chock-full of songs for the Church and songs for personal reflection and worship.

For Fans Of
Bethel Music, Jeremy Riddle, Elevation Worship, Jesus Culture

Final Word
This album provides listeners with songs that proclaim acceptance of God’s love in any circumstance. Hymn of Heaven provides words of appreciation and adoration of God. Phil’s enthusiastic and reverent style of writing and singing praise and worship songs has consistently been a draw for me. His prayerful sentiments are consistently filled with his personal adoration of God. I've felt that he's improved with each new album and this is my top worship album of the year. It is a completely worshipful album, in the style of Phil's previous offerings of enthusiastic praise and worship. Every single song could be added to your Sunday morning worship set.
 
 

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