Darlene Zschech "In Jesus' Name: A Legacy of Worship and Faith" Album Review

Darlene Zschech

Prime Cuts: My Highest Hope, In Jesus' Name, Blessed

Darlene Zschech singlehandedly opened the way for the rise of prominent recording female worship leaders.  Prior to Zschech, Integrity Music only had on its roster men such as Paul Baloche, Marty Nystrom and Don Moen.  But the imprint, which has always made it its mandate to service the church with her woship repertoire, took a chance with a suburban Australian church named Hillsong Church and its worship pastor Darlene Zschech.  With countless CCLI favorites spearheaded by Zschech's signature ballad "Shout to the Lord," the rest is history.  To date, churches all across the globe are raising their hands and singing to Hillsong's favorites such as "Mighty to Save," "Cornerstone," "Worthy is the Lamb," "One Way" and many others.  And the Aussie church has so far sold over 12 million albums worldwide.  

"In Jesus' Name: A Legacy of Worship and Faith" is more or less a greatest "hits" collection of Zschech's signature songs with a stronger leaning towards those she has had written herself.  Thus, with this in mind, it's understandable why non-negotiables such as "Shout to the Lord," "Potter's Hand," "At the Cross" and "Worthy is the Lamb" are included.  Non-negotiables aside, with Zschech fronting 21 Hillsong Live recordings, some of other selections here are just bewildering.  There is virtually no song lifted from one of Hillsong's most successful albums, "For All You've Done," an album that perched on the ARIA charts at #1 besting even the most popular secular records in 2004.  Yet, included is the obscure Christmas cut "Hallelujah;" a Christmas song slotted in the middle of a non-seasonal worship album?  What on earth is the rationale behind this selection?

Speaking of a fish out of the water is Zschech's "You Are Love."  Of all of Zschech own solo singles such as "Pray" or "Under Grace," why on earth were they sidelined in favor of a lesser known album cut?  From Zschech's highly successful recent solo live recording "Revealing Jesus," why do we get "God is Here" and "In Jesus' Name," but not the iconic and arguably more definitive "Victor's Crown?"  But to Integrity Music's credit, they have included the Zschech's hard to find recording of the hymn "Amazing Grace."  Featuring the Hillsong matriarch at her vocal best, Zschech weaves such tenderness and tenacity into this John Newton classic that it comes across with utter beauty.  "My Highest Hope" is the song written and recorded by her during her bout with cancer.  A string laden ballad that calls to mind her latter compositions such as "Cry of the Broken," "My Highest Hope" is Zschech's prayerful confession of trust in Jesus.  

As for the rest of the songs, it's a challenge to fault.  Scriptural, anointed, Christ-centered, these songs are what give the fire as well as vocabulary to modern worship. As far as worship music is concerned, Zschech is the tour-de-force. 

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