The Joint: Hillsong United – A_CROSS // The_EARTH: Tear down the walls

May 27, 2009 — 6 Comments

Review:
Hillsong United – A_CROSS // The_EARTH: Tear down the walls

This CD can be purchased/listened to at:
i-tunes

Click more to read the reviews!

Post on worshipcity

Synopsis:
I’m going to assume you’ve heard of the worship CD churning machine called Hillsong. I’m not going to assume you’re aware that Hillsong United is the “Youth Band” segment of their team because (I’ve said it before) the lines seemed to have been blurred over the past 2 years as to who’s making what. WELL the line is no longer blurred! With a_CROSS//the_EARTH it is clear that United is back to making music for the Youth. We’ve got an official introduction from the ‘under 21’ worship crew (you might have picked up In a Valley By the Sea but you probably didn’t) but here we have some of that crew making their big time debut. It’s great to have some fresh voices and such on such a stable and incredible team like United! I do dare you to count how many times you sing/yell “Woah oh Oh oh!” Haha, I mean but it is for a corporate setting and what gets you going more than yelling!
As always, you get your money’s worth with 12 tracks in a live setting that’s pushing you from one song to the next as if you’re really there!

Bottom Line:
This CD’s not for your typical church worship setting. It is however for your youth setting! Yours Forever is what I’ve been talking about in regards to Post-RockBand-Worship-Music! It’s busy, it’s loud, it’s anthematic, it’s what I see the multitude of youth who have ravaged these games on their consoles at home craving for in the church. However, the great thing is that there are also tracks like the sweet and beautiful Soon that is angelic. And of course everything inbetween!

[rating:4.5/5]

Must have:
Yours Forever – yes its ridiculous and over the top and it’s exactly why I love it! Soon – it’s everything that Yours Forever isn’t! Freedom is Here – for it’s Angels & Airwaves vibe. You Hold Me Now – I just love the chorus lyrics and how they roll off my tongue! King of All Days!! Yes, King of All Days is a must have!

Church Songs:
Depends on your church. With your congregation, you might not be able to get away with all of them 🙂 But these are definitely worship songs. I’d start you with: King of All Days, No Reason to Hide, Oh You Bring is a delicious worship tune that just sits there in your pocket, and Soon…mmm….Soon.

Post on Live to Worship

Synopsis:
I’ve always been excited about the release of a new Hillsong United album and this time was no exception.  However, on my first listen through the songs the only word I had to describe it was ‘bleh’.  After a few listens there are some definitely some gems on there but for the most part my thoughts about it are still ‘bleh’ (ref: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bleh).

The album is energetic, the style is spot on and it sounds really great, but to be honest I was a little disappointed.  I was really listening out for some ‘killer’ songs I could use in church but nothing really stands out or connects with me immediately.

Here’s a question.  Am I being too much of a consumer-focused Christian expecting that immediate worship high?  Or are Hillsong manufacturing albums simply to meet consumer demand rather than a natural outpouring of their hearts?  Or both?  Hmmm.  😉

Bottom Line:
Fist pumping pop, sung with attitude and lots of WhaaOoO, oOo OoO and Yoooo.  OK, now I’ve had enough.  I’m going back to listen to Aslan Worship again (ref: http://www.myspace.com/theaslanworship).

[rating:2.5/5]

Must Have Songs
:
The gems I talk about are King Of All Days, Oh You Bring, Soon and Arms Wide Open.

Church Songs:
All the songs are crafted for contemporary worship, so if you like the song, use it.  Remember one thing.  Your task as a worship leader is to lead people to that place where they are released to worship God uninhibited.  Therefore, when introducing new songs pick songs you connect with and believe will encourage that.

Post on Klampert.com

Synopsis:
United? Who in the world…Well if you haven’t heard of United then you are currently living under a rock or in a “VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!”. Folks they are back and with a new live CD. Complete with more Woah’s and ooo’s that may make you think 90’s RnB and boys 2 men are back.
I listened to this CD a few times at first after i got the pre-release and I was having a real hard time getting into it. Nothing really jumped out at me and I have no clue why. However I am glad I didn’t throw it on the shelf and give up on it cus it has some real gems that don’t disappoint. I am still working through this CD many listens over now, but I encourage you to do the same.
I think ultimately with a band like united who has basically shaped worship into their own mold and everybody on the planet is trying to mimic their sound that a new CD comes with preconceived expectations. It is really hard to listen to this CD and not have every one of their other ones in your head.
It still has that signature United sound, but I am excited to see there are trying new things. It was really needed.

Bottom Line:
If you love worship then you need to listen to this CD. I urge you though pretend this is a new band and listen to it like that. Listen to the heart of it and get trapped by the spirit. If you go in with thinking you will have an entire CD of what we have had before then you will miss the gems. The gems are my must haves.

[rating:3.5/5]

Must Haves:
King of All Days has a brilliant Chorus. I love the redone version of Desert song. That song gets me every time. Tear Down the walls is epic. My first listen the only song that gripped me was Soon. If you are not a United fan buy this CD just for that song. It’s worth it. Your Name High reminds me of U2 and I absolutely love this song. Yes even though it is chock full of “O’s” it is awesome. Last but not least is Yours Forever. This song has a new feel for United and it’s kinda off the wall. It’s a great youth service song and WAY over the top. Reminded me of the Raconteurs.

In Church:
This is a tough call. Depending on how adventurous your church is, if you have 35 guitarists, and killer vocalists most of these songs can be done. I am pretty sure I will attempt a few, but most of these would work best in a youth/college setting. I think on this CD United really made it clear the age group they lead.

_______________________________

THE JOINT AS A WHOLE GIVES

Review: Hillsong United – A_CROSS // The_EARTH: Tear down the walls

[rating:overall]

Joel Klampert

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6 responses to The Joint: Hillsong United – A_CROSS // The_EARTH: Tear down the walls

  1. Joel are you sure you didn’t just read my review 🙂
    I was sure I’d be the only one loving this CD! I’m with Al though b/c them churning out a CD every single year does begin to wear on me and begin to consume it and desire that “United song high” it’s tough man. I don’t know the answer.

    I listened to it again all day today and I could go on and on about it. It does seem to get better each time around. What I missed in saying was that it’s lacking the female lead songs! Where’s all the Brooke Fraser yumminess!?!?! Soon is worth the pricetag but man I wish I had more of that.

    Conner Byrds last blog post..Sunday Setlist May 17th – FINAL Video

  2. See thats funny. I didn’t love the CD, but I can’t say I hated it either. I have listened to it like 15 times in the last few weeks and A ton of it took a while to grow on me. But thats why i gave it 3.5 stars.
    It was still missing to me. It just wasn’t quite there. And I really miss the diversity with the female vocals too.
    All in all while it doesnt deserve higher than 3.5 stars it is a CD worth getting for sure.

  3. How odd that no one has mentioned my absolute fave, “Freedom is Here”… personally, when it goes all ‘ballady’ about half-way through it loses me entirely, but the first half is pretty incredible!

    Also, Brooke Frasier now lives in Nashville – I don’t know how involved she is with Hillsong these days.

  4. Aww, Shannon didn’t read my review 🙁
    Freedom is Here is totally in my Must Have list.

    Conner Byrds last blog post..The Joint – Hillsong United a_CROSS//the_EARTH Tear Down the Walls …nuff said!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The Joint – Hillsong United a_CROSS//the_EARTH Tear Down the Walls …nuff said! « Worship City - May 27, 2009

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