Hillsong UNITED "Empires"
by Michael Tackett (cmaddict.com) on 2015-05-26 11:14:30

Known in the past for their church anthems and energetic style, Hillsong United turned heads two years ago with Zion, a worship record that brought the band into a new musical and lyrical direction. Gone were the sometimes predictable guitar riffs and bland lyrics. In its place they created a thought-provoking and diverse musical style that still stands out as an outstanding record today. The bands new offering, Empires, continues that mature direction but changes it up enough so it doesn’t seem like Zion 2.0.

I once heard a saying ‘There is power in the quiet” and I think that really fits the theme in Empires. The record starts with “Here Now” a soft vocal track that adds in gentle acoustic guitars and soft beats throughout its 7 minute run. Soft vocals continue for the rest of the record but the music gives the tracks life. Each song is musically diverse to where in one listen you hear the bass or the synth and the next you hear the acoustic guitar or piano. On the flip side the music never overpowers the words. Songs like “Touch the Sky” and “Heart Like Heaven” have creative beats but never take away from the singer or the lyrics. It’s a beautiful mix and one that proves the band has matured in their writing.

Those looking for a worship experience can look no further either. Songs like “Prince of Peace”, “Empires” and “When I Lost my Heart to You” all bring a fresh sound to worshiping the Creator. An album highlight “Closer than You Know” is a song from Christ’s point of view. Midway through the song it transitions to the perspective of a Christ Follower. It’s a powerful song and a brilliantly executed idea.

In the current trend of worship music Hillsong United has offered a breathtaking record that should satisfy those looking for a musically creative and lyrically mature record. Never have I seen a band show such growth from their debut to now. They have set the bar high folks. Simply put…Empires is a masterpiece.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Genre: Worship
Label: Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes

Here Now (Madness) (7:22)
Say The Word (4:24)
Heart Like Heaven (6:29)
Touch The Sky (4:22)
Street Called Mercy (4:21)
When I Lost My Heart To You (Hallelujah) (4:45)
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) (6:18)
Prince Of Peace (5:56)
Empires (8:14)
Rule (4:12)
Captain (5:31)
Closer Than You Know (9:30)

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