Prime Cuts: World Outside Your Window, Lord Send Revival, Best Friends
Overall Grade: 3/5
Hillsong Young and Free cites Bob Dylan in the song "Best Friends." But you can hardly hear any allusion to the Bible throughout this 20-song album. This is where Y&F deviate from their older siblings, Hillsong Worship. While many of the songs of Hillsong Worship have their songs' kernels developed from Scripture --- think "Awake My Soul," "New Wine," and even "Shout to the Lord" --- many of these songs by Y&F are casual reflections coming from a mind that is more exposed to the iPhone than the Word of God. The other point of departure is that while the moniker "Hillsong" is often equated with congregational worship, the songs on this new record come more from reflections from a "me-perspective."
This is not to say that there's nothing positive about "All of My Best Friends." Y&F are excellent exegetes of the Millennium culture: those who want to know what today's young people think about God and church, should pay close attention to the aforementioned "Best Friends." Those who want a great tune about evangelism that is fresh, contemporary, and hook-driven will love "World Outside Your Window." "As I Am" has a retro feel with a hymn-like structure augmented by some cool synth flourishes.
The song that one could envisage their older counterpart Hillsong Worship covering is "Lord Send Revival." "Indescribable" and "Glimpse" try to use contemporary and conversational jargons to capture the greatness of our God. But somehow they appear flimsy and at the end of the day cheesy. "Indescribable" (which unfortunately shares the same titular as Chris Tomlin's worship favorite) sounds more like a Justin Bieber love song than a worship anthem: "I heard my name/Across the ocean/You pulled me closer/The current changed/You showed me life."
Then there are nondescript fillers which are as forgettable as their song titles: "Keep On" and "All My Life." The album which showcases 13 new live songs but it is bloated with 7 studio versions of the same cuts. Their "live" versions are so polished that one wonders why there is a need to re-cut them in the studio. Writing worship songs is like entering into a conversation: God and the writer need to have a chance to speak. Unfortunately with Y&F, they have dominated the conversation far too much that God and his Word don't get much of a say.
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