Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: July 30th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Phenomena (DA DA) (Live)
- Freedom Is Coming (Live)
- House Of The Lord (Live)
- Selah – Josh (Live)
- Pride Of A Father (Live)
- Never Fail (Live)
- Song For His Presence (Live)
- Phenomena (DA DA)
- Freedom Is Coming
Hillsong Young & Free, well actually 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. As for Hillsong Young & Free, their latest album All Of My Best Friends released last year, and it’s extremely evident that these passionate young group of worship leaders are not afraid to expand and reinvent the worship genre by infusing dance, pop, electronica and worship together, and are also unafraid and unashamed to speak the word of Jesus in the world. So what makes Young & Free’s latest endeavour, their latest live project Out Here On A Friday Where It Began (Live), so special? How does this release live up to the successes of the rest fo their discography- in particular to III which I believe is the band’s most impacting album? Well firstly, the lead single “Phenomena (DA DA)” is so, so catchy, and not to mention personal albums highlights like “Never Fail”, “Freedom Is Coming” and “Pride Of A Father” brighten up this poppy and worshipful tracklist also!
Opening the eclectic and vibrant track list is the lead single “Phenomena (DA DA)”. Led by Melodie Wagner, the heart of the song being the fact that Jesus has set us free and now we can truly live in Him and live for Him; and we are presented with the ever-true lyrics depicting that ‘…You’ve given me a new heart, true reality, I’m living for the One who set me free, You’ve given me Your vision, better than a dream, You ain’t gotta wake me up, it’s not a fantasy…’. As we worship Jesus with thankfulness and gratitude, I unfortunately find this song not as impacting nor powerful as other singles like “Where You Are”, “Real Love”, “Falling Into You”, “This Is Living”, “Alive”, “Love Won’t Let Me Down”, “Best Friends” and “Let Go”. But what “Phenomena (DA DA)” does have going for it is its energy and deep intensity. This song is perfect for maybe a concert opener, and the vibe that we’re worshipping God through a party song, is a great vibe to be having first up. “Freedom Is Coming”, led by newcomer Mi-kaisha Masella, is a slower-tempo piano led ballad whereby the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed. As Mi-kaisha eloquently and fervently relays to us that ‘…freedom is coming and it has a name, oh, no room for my chains, oh, You take them away, freedom is coming and it has a name and it is Jesus, how sweet is the name…’, we are reassured that we can call upon the name of Jesus as often as we can, and that He can and will answer us, bringing us freedom far beyond our comprehension.
“House Of The Lord”, an original and not the Phil Wickham penned single from earlier this year (although a cover of Phil’s song would’ve been awesome!), is instead an original song that is energetic, and essentially relays that we can worship God in the house of the Lord (which is in actuality anywhere we meet as believers, and not necessarily a church building!); while “Selah – Josh” is a spoken word interlude by newcomer Joshua Kpozehouen outlining the message behind the next song “Pride Of A Father”. Speaking of “Pride Of A Father”; well I reckon this song is the most inspiring and powerful since “Sinking Deep”, as Joshua fervently and prayerfully creates a simple yet moving near-masterpiece. Led by only the piano, Joshua emotionally and honesty cries out to God, admitting his failures and sins, but also declaring that ‘…when You see me, You see my heart, through the eyes of Your mercy In the light of Your Son You love me With open arms And the pride of a father…’; reminding us of God’s grace and mercy, and that He loves us all more than anything in the whole world. “Never Fail”, led by Alexander Pappas, is another personal highlight and standout for me, as the slower-tempo acoustic guitar led melody is similar in theme to Elevation Worship’s “Do It Again”. As Alexander powerfully cries out that ‘…You’re my refuge and strength, my yes and amen, put my trust in Your Name, ‘cause You have never failed me yet, You’re the breaker of chains, defeated the grave, all my hope in Your Name, ‘cause You have never failed me yet…’, we are transported into a moment of unbridled, unashamed and uninhibited worship to our Father, Protector, Saviour and Friend. Out Here On A Friday Where It Began (Live) then ends with “Song For His Presence”. Led by Aodhan King, the piano led ballad inspires, comforts and is another emotional, powerful and honest melody about worship God for all that we are. It’s a simple melody with simple lyrical content… but there’s something about this song that makes me come back to the track again and again and again!
With Out Here On A Friday Where It Began (Live) firmly placing the band at the already stratospheric heights of the US Christian market; Hillsong Young & Free’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 (inclusive of Young & Free), 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! Overall these 7 live inspiring and encouraging melodies (and 2 studio tracks) show us the church in its brutal honesty and surrender to Jesus. These tracks are as good as Hillsong Young & Free have ever been, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next full-length album sometime in the future as well! Well done to this humble and young Aussie band whose ministry is guaranteed to touch many lives!
3 songs to listen to: Pride Of A Father, Never Fail, Song For His Presence
RIYL: TobyMac, Hillsong UNITED, All Sons And Daughters, Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North