Phil Wickham – House of the Lord – Single

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Release Date: April 2nd 2021

Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre

Phil WickhamHouse of the Lord – Single (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. House of the Lord

Phil Wickham has become one of my favourite worship leaders, and worship music artists since he unveiled to us his indie debut album Give You My World in 2003. Since that time, Phil has given to us powerful singles after powerful singles- ‘Grace’, ‘Divine Romance’, ‘After Your Heart’, ‘Safe’, ‘I’ll Always Love You’, ‘At Your Name’, ‘This is Amazing Grace’, ‘Glory’, ‘Living Hope’, ‘My All In All’, ‘Your Love Awakens Me’ and ‘Till I Found You’, to name a few. In a general sense, Phil has always had a knack at giving to us, great albums, period. From albums like his most recent, Living Hope, to the album that got me into the fandom, Response, as well as his chart-topping The Ascension; Phil’s powerful and distinct voice cuts through all the cookie-cutter CCM that seems to seep through, and brings it home to be a reminder that great music artists still exist within the realms of CCM. But for me, as a cut above the rest, has always been Phil’s singalong volumes.

Just look back at his music career for a second. You have the acoustic albums Singalong 1 (acoustic versions of songs from albums Phil Wickham and Cannons), Singalong 2 (acoustic versions of songs from albums Heaven and Earth and Response) and Singalong 3 (acoustic versions of songs from album The Ascension), alongside Children of God: Acoustic Sessions and the most recent Singalong 4 (acoustic versions of songs from his album Living Hope). In each of these volumes, it’s just Phil, the acoustic guitar and these songs, making the experience much more intimate and compelling. For as long as I remember, hearing these renditions on all the Singalong albums, as well as the 2016 acoustic Children of God album, makes me enjoy the original songs all the more. This further proves the fact of Phil’s ability to take a song and strip it down to just acoustics, creating a space for the Lord to move and speak, thus making much of his songs and his discography more impactful and encouraging because of these acoustic renditions. Quite possibly one of my favourite worship artists of all time, alongside others like Meredith Andrews, Paul Baloche, Christy Nockels, Tim Hughes and Chris Tomlin; Phil Wickham has continued to impress with every album that releases, and as the years go by, we see a sound that has been refined and matured as Phil delivers songs that are as poignant as they are seemingly out-of-the-box musically and hence, in some ways, underappreciated in the scope and realm of worship music as a whole. While artists like Chris Tomlin, Hillsong (all its facets), Jesus Culture and Bethel Music are the most popular at the moment; it is nice for Phil to come along and inject some kind of life and vitality into the worship music genre. Not that the worship music genre is a bit of a drag, yet sometimes, it needs someone to come to present to us a new kind of how worship music can be portrayed…and Phil Wickham has done just that throughout his career.

On the back of his successful single ‘Battle Belongs’ (of which you can read a review of the song here), Phil has unveiled to us another song of encouragement and hope- ‘House of the Lord’. Just released on Good Friday in Australia (maybe later on today in the U.S.), Phil’s newest song has become one of my favourite worship songs of 2021 thus far, and has been a joyous track that, alongside ‘Battle Belongs’, has become some of the most emotive and joy-filled songs I’ve heard since ‘This is Amazing Grace’ way back in 2013. The song itself- about not being quiet about the joy of the Lord on our lives, and how living our lives to the full will be the best testament to how we can present to others, the joy of our Lord in our own lives; is something that a lot of songs nowadays need to focus upon, rather than songs about ‘me’ as being the central character. How God has impacted our lives is good, but to always be constantly sing about that in worship songs, can sometimes make us all look more inward than outward, and a song like ‘House of the Lord’ refocuses our gaze on Christ our Saviour. ‘House of the Lord’ keeps our focus on things above, to realign from our own immediate circumstances, to being reminded that God is in our midst wherever we are, that His moving in our lives, either through healing physically, mentally, or even spiritually, needs to be declared and recognised, and such a song as this, does this very fact. As Phil himself relays to us on a personal level, ‘…the past 12 months I’ve learned in a greater way than ever how happiness can come and go with circumstances, BUT I can always have joy. Joy isn’t based on circumstance it’s based on identity, and in Jesus I am a forgiven, redeemed, set free child of God! That’s what my new song “HOUSE OF THE LORD” is all about. It comes out TONIGHT at midnight. wrote this song with my friend Jonathan Smith right in the middle of a year when I needed to sing some JOY into discouragement and to remind myself who I am in Jesus. I hope this song brings you JOY and reminds you who you are in Him! Listen to it, share it, save it, sing it, play it… and we’ll raise up a shout of joy together…’ A song that’s going to be on repeat on my iTunes music playlists for quite some time, this is a perfect way to start each and every Friday- worshipping the Lord in praise, knowing that there is joy readily available in Christ, that happiness will come and go, but a life rooted in joy can be more fulfilled. An artist that is still terribly underrated, even to this day: 17 years removed from his debut album; Phil’s honest songwriting makes his presence in CCM all the more needed, and this song, is no different!

We worship the God who was, we worship the God who is
We worship the God who evermore will be
He opened the prison doors, He parted the raging sea
Our God, He holds the victory
There’s joy in the house of the Lord
There’s joy in the house of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet, we shout out Your praise
There’s joy in the house of the Lord
Our God is surely in this place
And we won’t be quiet, we shout out Your praise
‘House of the Lord’- excerpted lyrics

Score: 5/5

RIYL: Bethel Music, Chris Tomlin, Shane & Shane, Kristian Stanfill

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