Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: October 15th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Faith Is
Hillsong in all of its 3 facets (Worship, UNITED, Young & Free), need no introduction. If you haven’t heard of them, then you better stop reading this right now, and then check out their discography pronto! You can check out their discographies here, here and here– and you can read about all of our posts on Hillsong Worship, UNITED, and Young and Free in the links here, here and here, and when you’ve finished, you can then read my brother Jon’s Momentous Mondays post about all things Hillsong here! Then, and only then, maybe can gain a bit more perspective and knowledge of the worship movement that’s been around for decades!
Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, chances are that you would have definitely heard about this previously small Australian church group now turned global megachurch worship movement, spanning 3 incarnations (Worship, UNITED and Young & Free) and counting, plenty of inspiring singles, no 1 top hits on both Christian and mainstream charts and a plethora of studio and live albums. If you don’t know the name of the group, I am sure some songs will be familiar. With the UNITED branch of the worship ministry originating in 1998, we have been blessed to hear so far 11 live albums (inclusive of the recent People) and 5 studio albums (All Of The Above, Aftermath, ZION, Empires and Wonder). With Hillsong being one of the most popular, respected, prolific and inventive worship movements of all time; their music has touched the lives of many locally and globally. Since its inception, this young worship team have carried on the church’s mission and vision to lift the name of Jesus above all others.
Since a while, there’s been several worship leaders from Hillsong releasing solo material. Reuben Morgan did this in the 2000’s with World Through Your Eyes and Everyone, while Darlene Zschech’s discography can be viewed here. Brooke Fraser successfully recorded albums in the mainstream before pivoting to be more present in the Hillsong space (and she is releasing another solo album, this time as Brooke Ligertwood!), while Alexander Pappas unveiled Idaho EP this past month. Now, it’s time for our horizons to be broadened even more. Benjamin Hastings, songwriter and leader of the smash hit “So Will I (100 Billion X)”, and member of both Hillsong Worship and Hillsong UNITED, has unveiled his solo debut single. A package of 2 songs called “Homeward” and “Faith Is”, Benjamin has beautifully and powerfully crafted two melodies of hope and inspiration. I’m not sure if this means he is breaking away from Hillsong; but these two songs are extremely good, and these tracks provide us comfort, and are just what we need in light of the last couple of years that we have all faced.
I can’t lie, I’m very nervous. It’s scary putting things out in the world like this and to be honest this may be more honest than you’re used to hearing me be. Not that I wasn’t before but this is me rolling out of bed with no makeup on and hoping to God somebody still thinks I’m beautiful. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t but maybe somewhere in the humanity of it all you’ll find something divine. That’s my hope anyway.
These two melodies are some of the most inspiring and comforting I’ve heard all year. “Homeward” is an earnest prayer to God, led by the piano, as Benjamin eloquently relays aloud that ‘…I’ll hang on every word You ever said, for I know You’re faithful, and I’m still waiting on a wealth of promises, but I know You’re able, so if ever I stray, if ever I fall, won’t You call me homeward…’, and also speaks about God calling us back to Himself and more and more in love with Him. While “Faith Is” speaks about doubts and questions that we all have had about God, with Benjamin ardently expressing his own journey with faith, and reminding us all that faith is in fact needed when hanging onto the promises of God. With Benjamin ardently reminding us all that becoming a believer in Jesus is actually a lifelong process, we are inspired to actively daily walk with Him and to always sharpen our faith through reading the Bible and fellowshipping with other believers.
With both the songs of “Homeward” and “Faith Is” hopefully firmly placing Benjamin Hastings the solo artist at the forefront of the already stratospheric heights of the US Christian market; Hillsong Worship’s latest album is a joy to listen to, as we are blessed with the immense heart for Jesus of all the vocalists and personnel involved. Even though I do enjoy the Hillsong United albums better than any other counterpart, a few more listens to this collection of songs might reverse my stance. Nevertheless, the megachurch, regardless on your thoughts about the Houston’s, are still a force to be reckoned with, both in CCM and worship. They make the on average 3-4-albums-a-year (in all formats!) aspect work, and if they stick with what they know, then it will definitely work for them in the future! And as for Benjamin’s two solo songs, I reckon it’s a breath of fresh air. These tracks are as honest, inspiring and emotional as Hillsong has ever been, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting whatever comes next from Benjamin, be it another solo project or something with any arm of Hillsong. Well done to this humble and young Aussie artist whose ministry is guaranteed to touch many lives!
RIYL: Hillsong Young & Free, Chris Tomlin, Brooke Fraser, Tenth Avenue North, Needtobreathe, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors