Elevation Worship – Hallelujah Here Below / Paradoxology

 

Provident Label Group

Release Date: September 28th 2018 / April 12th 2019

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Elevation Worship– Hallelujah Here Below / Paradoxology (Amazon mp3/iTunes) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing (Hallelujah Here Below):

  1. Won’t Stop Now
  2. God of the Promise
  3. Hallelujah Here Below
  4. Here Again
  5. Echo (feat. Tauren Wells)
  6. Worthy
  7. Mighty God (Another Hallelujah)
  8. Power
  9. Then He Rose
  10. Greater Than Your Love
  11. Faithful
  12. Here Comes Heaven
  13. Still God
  14. Better Word

Track Listing (Paradoxology):

  1. Paradoxology
  2. Hallelujah Here Below (Paradoxology) (feat. Steffany Gretzinger)
  3. Echo
  4. With You
  5. Mighty God (Another Hallelujah)
  6. Faithful
  7. Here Again
  8. Won’t Stop Now
  9. Worthy

With so many worship bands and solo artists out there; the competition is high and the standard is quite high as well- as groups like Hillsong (all facets!), Planetshakers, Vertical Worship, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture and Passion all deliver high quality worship albums year in and year out; not to mention solo artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Phil Wickham, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, Crowder and Paul Baloche to name a few. Creating probably something of a worship saturation point from all of these many artists churning out the album releases; does the addition of another worship movement/band create an unnecessary movement, or a challenge for new and existing bands to rise up and become more creative and inventive with their songs, musically and lyrically? What exactly makes a band like Elevation Worship so special?

Hallelujah Here Below is a release that was distributed to us last year at the end of September (and I’m not really going to write an in-depth review here, as since September, the internet probably has been flooding with reviews- so I’ll just give my brief thoughts); while Paradoxlogy dropped a few weeks ago, which is a collection of reimagining’s and rerecordings of select songs from Hallelujah Here Below. And while the band has recently started to become popular due to their songs “O Come To The Altar”, “Do It Again”, and “Resurrecting”; I reckon their latest offering is one of the most cohesive ever. It’s no mean feat for the group to release a new album in the same year that both Mack Brock and London Gatch have left to pursue solo careers; yet in light of this development, Hallelujah Here Below stands tall amongst quite a lot of worship albums from last year. Again, another album that I wish I reviewed at the time (to be a bit more current!); Elevation Worship deserve to be congratulated, and to be proud of themselves.

By far the most engaging and powerful song on Hallelujah Here Below is “Echo” with Tauren Wells on guest vocals. A joyous, poppy, radio friendly ball of energy that last for 4 brief minutes, the infectious celebratory nature is contagious, as I am met with an electronic keys led dance anthem, exquisitely led by Tauren, as he fervently relays to us that ‘…Your love is holding on and it won’t let go, I feel it breaking out like an echo, echo in my soul…’. Displaying the kind of cheerfulness that needs to be present particularly when two members suddenly leave, Elevation Worship have unveiled a fan-favourite and crowd-pleaser; while the start of the album is also a highlight as well, as these ballads, while long, don’t seem to drag, neither are they boring. The title track, “Won’t Stop Now”, “Here Again”, and “Worthy” are some of the most inspiring and moving Elevation Worship songs I’ve heard ever, while upbeat and celebratory songs like “God Of The Promise” and “Then He Rose” are sure to engage us over and over. The only drawback on this album is the lack of upbeat tracks (“Echo”, “God Of The Promise” and “Then He Rose”), while “Power” and “Mighty God (Another Hallelujah)” meander along a bit and seem a bit too long in duration for my liking. And as far as replacing the great Mack Brock and the great London Gatch; I guess no one can, but these guys make a good crack at ushering in the new generation- which will hopefully be at the helm for a very long time. 14 tracks is quite long, but the guys at Elevation Worship are earnest, honest, and real. And emotional too. What else can you ask for? Paradoxology is a well recorded alternate interpretation of Hallelujah Here Below (especially their rendition of “Hallelujah Here Below” with Steffany Gretzinger!); yet there’s something special about a live project in general that gets me every time. Hallelujah Here Below overall is no different, despite a few hiccups.

While the band is still on the rise, and many songs from Hallelujah Here Below expected to propel Elevation Worship to even greater heights than “O Come To The Altar”, “Do It Again” and “Resurrecting”; it seems that the group are doing just fine without Mack and London. Sure they will miss these guys because of their experience and the worship leading ability, however we must have faith in the newer guys that Jesus would guide their steps in respect to leading people in worship just like in this album. With the next album maybe being at the end of the year or next year sometime, let us hope and pray that the awesome music that was present in Hallelujah Here Below continues. Paradoxology was great, but we all want another live album! Well done Elevation Worship for this surprising project (in a good way!), one of my favourites of this year/last year (although nothing can top “Do It Again”!). Bring on the next album sometime this year/early next year!

4 songs to listen to: Hallelujah Here Below, Echo. Worthy, Still God

Score: 4/5

RIYL:  Chris Tomlin, Desperation Band, Vertical Worship, Matt Redman, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, Zealand

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