***** Firstly, I have to point out that Hillsong albums are the biggest growers to the point where even the most dullest track could end up being very enjoyable, so despite the fact that many tracks are only 4 stars currently (after one listen) and that I have reviewed many songs as almost dull, this is subject to change very quickly. In fact, my whole opinion of the album is very likely subject to change.
After "God Is Able," which is one of my favourite albums of 2011, and probably my favourite from them, I was expecting big things off this album and to be honest, it was great, but their musical direction hasn't changed much at all. Lyrically and vocally, it is much more impacting and inspiring but I feel that their sound hasn't evolved much after God Is Able. Nonetheless, I still really like this sound, but for any casual listener, this would be most likely be very dull and boring to them. There are some subtle improvements, but overall I find this lack of change disappointing.
Now the biggest and only downside is the lack of upbeat tracks. Endless Light, Running and Praise Him was the closest to 'upbeat' that we had, and in-between those songs there were too many underwhelming and lacklustre moments. The album starts off great with the beginning two, and then peaks with Cornerstone and I Surrender, but by the time we reach All My Hope and Grace Abounds, all the momentum by those very underwhelming tracks is lost, as they're probably the least original and the most boring. The album does pick up again at Running, the highlight and maintains an acceptable level to the end.
However, Hillsong albums often grow to the point that I enjoy these dull moments so I really shouldn't have an issue with it. I just really think that their albums would be so much more easily enjoyed by everyone if there was more of these. Praise Him was almost dance-like and although it isn't good to have every track like a dance song, they should have more of those, just for more variety.
Running is an exceptional standout, but I love Cornerstone, I Surrender, Love Knows No End and Endless Light.
Track listing: (Numbers denote rating out of 6)
1. Endless Light (6) 2. Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise) (5) 3. Cornerstone (6) 4. I Surrender (6) 5. Hope Of The World (5) 6. All My Hope (3) 7. Grace Abounds (4) 8. Running (6) 9. Children Of The Light (5) 10. Stand In Awe (3) 11. Love Knows No End (5) 12. Greater Than All (4)
Album average: 4.83 Album grade: B+
Found on the deluxe edition: 13. Love So High (5) 14. I Desire Jesus (6) 15. Praise Him (6)
Album Average: 5 Final album grade: A- Last edited: 14/04/2013 11:50
* Despite some upbeat songs such as 'Running' and 'Endless Light', I find this album highly depressing. Songs like 'Greater Than All', 'I Desire Jesus' or 'Grace Abounds' could put me to sleep in a heart beat. Not because they are slow, but because nothing new or interesting is being said.... In fact that could be said for the whole album. We get it you love Jesus.... Love is good.... Blah blah blah. Then again, that might just be because as a church, what else is there to sing about? Last edited: 15/07/2012 13:05