Hillsong Music Australia / Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: August 16th 2019
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Quien Dices Que Soy (Who You Say I Am)
- La Pasion (The Passion)
- Vivo Estoy (You Are Life)
- No Temere (Be Still)
- Vino Neuvo (New Wine)
- En Tu Presencia (Touch of Heaven)
- Hermoso Nombre (What A Beautiful Name)
- A Ti Me Rindo (I Surrender)
- En Esto Creo [El Credo] (This I Believe [The Creed])
- Hosanna (Hosanna)
- Alabare Al Senor [Anastasis] (O Praise The Name [Anastasis])
Here’s an assertion that I reckon is pretty spot on, in my own opinion. Hillsong Church is probably one of the most well-known, popular, inspirational, loved, hated, controversial, and much needed churches/bands/institutions ever. All of these adjectives at the same time, you ask? Well…yes. In short, Hillsong and all of its incarnations have encouraged many, and have angered much more. Yet even as a divisive international entity, the biggest church in Australia still offer so much hope to the world, that it’s hard not to be floored in a good way, and amazed at the group’s musical endeavours. Particularly Hillsong Worship of late, we have “What A Beautiful Name” and “Who You Say I Am” each breaking records on radio and changing lives- each of them well deserving of their spots on the annual Wow Hits albums.
Just this past week though, Hillsong has been in the news for all the wrong reasons though- as former worship leader Marty Sampson renounced his faith in Jesus. In response to this unexpected news, John Cooper the frontman of rock band Skillet, wrote a lengthy response to Marty’s admission, which in effect spoke about the importance of placing our faith in Jesus and reading the Word of God rather than looking to worship leaders as the source of all of our truth. As John firmly reminded us all to place our roots in the Bible so that they can’t be shaken…Hillsong stayed silent on this ever-prevalent matter. Now I’m not sure if many worship leaders from Hillsong are walking with Marty in his time of need, but I reckon a public statement from the church about all of this wouldn’t do any harm, and clear up any speculation about the church’s stance of what Marty has said- once and for all. But whatever your own views on what is happening right now in the forefront of the media- there’s no denying that there’s some impressive music that these guys have released.
Today amidst all of the controversy surrounding the church right now, Hillsong Worship unveiled Hay Mas– a collection of 11 songs sung in Spanish (by the original vocalists as well!). Though one might think that this release is a tad overkill and unnecessary; I for one welcome such a release. Spanish is probably one of the most common languages other than English (as well as Chinese, French, German and a host of others) so I guess it kind of makes sense for Hillsong Worship to include some of their fans who aren’t as familiar with English, and who live in South America or Spain. As far as these arrangements go though, I mean if you’ve listened to the original versions (of which some include “Hosanna”, “This I Believe (The Creed)”, “What A Beautiful Name”, “Who You Say I Am” and “O Praise The Name (Anastasis)” to name a few; then perhaps you may feel let down to know that the Spanish renditions keep the music exactly the same, with the lyrics changed (obviously, cause you’re singing in another language!). To that end, this album might have served better had these renditions sung in Spanish been re-recorded with different instruments (as true remixes!); yet this nitpick doesn’t mean that this project isn’t good. The songs are still inspiring, and Jesus still moves- as we are nonetheless still invited into a moment of unbridled worship with our Father and friend. To that end, this album is necessary and seems to have fulfilled what it set out to do- which is to inspire people and bring more people into Jesus’ presence!
It isn’t known whether Hillsong Worship will retire (I really don’t think so, and my guess is that they’ll keep going, and eventually phase out older members and introduce newer worship leaders, resulting in eventually a brand-new movement). And it also isn’t known what will happen in the near future- their reputation and brand may hinge upon what they say in response to Marty’s revealing post. However, I think personally that their best is yet to come! Even though I do enjoy the Hillsong United albums better than the Live Worship counterparts (really, what is the difference besides a few worship leaders on one and others on the other?); the megachurch is are a force to be reckoned with, both in CCM and worship.
They make the 3-4-albums-a-year aspect work, and if they stick with what they know, then it will definitely work for them in the future (Although in light of Marty’s post, maybe these guys need to release the next album a bit later, and instead ask God about what they should do regarding their friend)! Overall these 11 inspiring and encouraging Spanish versions of hits gone by show us the church in its brutal honesty and surrender to Jesus. These tracks are as good as Hillsong have ever been, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting more future projects in the coming months! Well done guys, you ought to be congratulated!
3 songs to listen to: No Temere, En Esto Creo [El Credo], Alabare Al Senor [Anastasis]
RIYL: Planetshakers, Hillsong UNITED, Hillsong Young And Free, The City Harmonic, Elevation Worship, Passion, All Sons And Daughters