Release Date: March 31st 2017
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- What a Beautiful Name
- What a Beautiful Name (Live)
- What a Beautiful Name (Alternate Acoustic)
- What a Beautiful Name (Orchestral Selah)
- What a Beautiful Name (Gospel Version)
- What a Beautiful Name (Y&F Remix)
I just realised one thing- never throughout the whole history of 365 Days of Inspiring Media, have we ever reviewed anything from Hillsong Worship– sure we’ve written our thoughts about material from UNITED and Young and Free (Youth Revival, Let Hope Rise, Of Dirt and Grace, We are Young and Free (Remixes) and This is Living (EP)), but to write something on anything by Hillsong Worship, considered to be the ‘founding father’ of the many other movements that have been borne from it; now that is a different story. Not to say that Hillsong Worship and their songs haven’t really captivated me, but rather, Hillsong, especially Hillsong Worship, have only delivered to us a few impactful songs from year to year…until now, that is. In fact, this new song from Hillsong Worship (which is in fact redone 6 times to make up this EP of 6 songs), “What a Beautiful Name”, is in fact my favourite song from Hillsong (in all its facets) since “Hosanna” by UNITED, and my favourite Hillsong Worship song since “Mighty to Save”. So what is it about “What a Beautiful Name” that makes me so excited about the track, and excited about what Hillsong has to bring in the upcoming months ahead? What is it about a Hillsong track that I’d rate this EP a perfect 5 stars, while realising that as a whole, Hillsong will still deliver albums where only a few tracks stand out amongst the whole album’s worth? Is this song still worth reviewing even through its redone 6 times?
Yes, dare I say it, but “What a Beautiful Name” is better than “Oceans”. There. I’ve said it. And I would expect the criticism to come in the next few days. But really, this new song from Hillsong Worship has lifted the worship movement to new heights. A song that speaks all about who God is, and what His name means in relation to who we are in Him because of what He has done, “What a Beautiful Name” is quite possibly one of my favourite Brooke Fraser-led songs I’ve heard from Hillsong in any format (maybe second to “Hosanna” and “Lead Me to the Cross”). And as both co-writers Brooke Fraser and Ben Fielding expressed recently in their blog last year about what the song means to them, ‘…perhaps some of us understand God loves us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but haven’t grasped His power, ability and will to move strongly in our present circumstances. Or perhaps, we understand God as the supreme, omnipotent Deity He is, but have never known Him close and tender, as a friend acquainted with the depths of our humanity, knowing our flaws cannot perturb His love. Our prayer for this song is that we can all enter into a deeper, more lateral, revelation of the person of Jesus Christ—the epitome of beauty…’ “What a Beautiful Name” encompasses all that was expressed in that aforementioned quote and so much more. It is the song that’ll impact people this year as “Good, Good Father” was for 2016. So much so that this new EP has 6 versions of the song (studio, live, acoustic, instrumental, gospel version, remix) to deliver to listeners, dropping today 31st March on iTunes and other digital retailers.
So…is “What a Beautiful Name” and all its versions worth it to listen? Well, if you enjoy the song, enjoy Hillsong and their music, or just enjoy worship music in general, then this new EP is a must have. Even for anyone who knows that this song by Hillsong is blowing up (as with other songs like “Hosanna” and “Mighty to Save”), this is still nevertheless an EP to at least listen to once through. This new EP by Hillsong Worship is one for the history books…it just might be the first song by Hillsong Worship to make it onto a WOW Hits album at the end of the year…who knows. Still, this new song sung by Brooke Fraser is nothing short of a masterpiece, both in enthusiasm and passion, as well as heart and emotion. A song that’s certain to be one of my favourite worship songs for a while, this new offering by Hillsong Worship sets the bar to a whole new high level when the end of the year rolls around again and the worship movement releases their next annual live album. Well done Hillsong and the team for such a compelling and empowering song, one that’ll continue to impact listeners in the months and even years to come!
3 songs to listen to: What a Beautiful Name, What a Beautiful Name (Gospel Version), What a Beautiful Name (Y&F Remix)
RIYL: Jesus Culture, Passion, Planetshakers, Bethel Music