Fair Trade Services
Release Date: April 22nd 2022
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Worthy of My Song
Phil Wickham has always been one of my favourite worship artists, over the past decade or so. Since 2003 when he unveiled his debut album Give You the World, 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 full length studio album, 2021’s Hymn of Heaven (alongside 2022’s Hymn of Heaven (Acoustic), an acoustic re-recording of Phil’s powerful 2021 album), to the album that got me into the fandom, Response, as well as his chart-topping The Ascension and 2018’s Living Hope, 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. As we look back at his career just for a second, we 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 his follow-up acoustic album, 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. In 2021, Phil came along and released Hymn of Heaven, an album that bore the hits ‘House of the Lord’, ‘Battle Belongs’, ‘It’s Always Been You’ and more recently ‘1000 Names’, that was recently recorded again by Sean Curran (one of the writers of said song). Now in mid-2022, Phil has once again unveiled something new for us to hear…and boy is it something great to behold and discover. Originally recorded as a duet between Phil and Chandler Moore (of Maverick City Music) as a live track, this is Phil’s studio song recording of ‘Worthy of My Song’, arguably one of my favourite worship songs of 2022 thus far.
‘…it’s been amazing hearing story after story of people’s lives being touched by the live version Chandler Moore and Maverick City Music and I released a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to share this new version with you all. We hope it continues to lift peoples eyes to Jesus, and that it’s a service to church communities who would like to make this song their own as well…’
There’s nothing much to say about this song, except for this- listen to it now. Drop everything you’re doing; and listen to the song (and watch the powerful music video) right now. And be amazed of what the Lord has done (and will continue to do) through this song. It’s nearly 7 minutes, so to some people, it can be a drag, but for me, it was a joy to hear. I didn’t feel like the song was long, but mind you, I enjoy Phil Wickham’s music as a whole, so what can I say? This is a song that reminds us that God deserves praise and declaration of His goodness, no matter the circumstance- and yes, the bridge itself, is very hauntingly emotive, compelling and at times, hard to even sing ourselves- ‘…when I sat by that hospital bed, You were worthy, and she could barely lift her head, You were worthy, after all those tears were shed, You were worthy, I’ll never stop singing Your praise, I’ll never stop singing Your praise, and in the blessing, in the pain, You are worthy, whether You say “yes” or “no”, or “wait”, You are worthy, through it all, I choose to say, “You are worthy”, I’ll never stop singing Your praise, no I’ll never stop singing Your praise, and when I finally see Your face, I’ll cry worthy, and when You wipe these tears away, I’ll cry worthy, above every other name, You are worthy, I’ll never stop singing Your praise, no I’ll never stop singing Your praise, I’ll never stop singing Your praise, I’ll never stop singing Your praise…’ How do you even sing those lines, knowing full well that maybe, you’re going through the darkness of your own soul? Maybe you can’t. And that’s ok. But what we’re facing and how we’re facing it, doesn’t change that God is worthy regardless. And He still loves us, irrespective of our own circumstances, for whatever we face, ought not to dampen our own love for Christ, that has come because of what He has done for us, not because if He answered our prayers, or has even given us what we desire or not. He is worthy, and that alone ought to be enough for our worship. He saved us from death and the grave, through the way of Jesus. He is sovereign in it all, and even if we don’t understand (why they didn’t wake up from the hospital bed, or worse still, why they woke up instead of someone else), God is still worthy, and He is still on the throne. This is a song that gives people context and perspective on life’s difficulties, and though it may be a hard song to sing in the moment, hopefully this song can bring about healing and hope in the upcoming weeks and months that follow along from said release.
And with that, I’m gonna listen to Phil’s new song again and again, not to mention Hymn of Heaven (Acoustic)– because Phil’s music is for anyone who loves music in general, who loves worship that isn’t the ‘run-of-the-mill’ like Chris Tomlin (sorry, Chris), but rather, something unique, fresh, emotive, powerful, and heartfelt, all of which is shown very much throughout this new song from Phil (and much of Phil’s songs of the past). Well done Phil for ‘Worthy of My Song’ (as well as Hymn of Heaven and Hymn of Heaven: The Acoustic Sessions), projects that stand tall amongst many of the worship album (and song) releases of 2021/2022 so far. This is a must for anyone who has enjoyed much of Phil’s music catalogue previously, or those who love and appreciate worship-style music with more of a creative edge. Can’t wait for people to be encouraged and impacted by ‘Worthy of My Song’ in the upcoming weeks and months ahead!
RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Martin Smith