Worship Album Reviews

Posted by Jordan Wiseman on August 01, 2012.

Author: Jordan Wiseman

Hillsong Live – Cornerstone

Year after year, Hillsong is a huge player in worship music. And this year is no different. The newest release from the Australia-based church is Cornerstone; one of the most anticipated worship album releases of the year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really live up to its expectations. Last year’s God is Able brought us fun, energetic melodies. But Cornerstone is, well, simply boring. If you hear one song on this album, you’ve probably heard them all.

Hillsong has long been one of most innovative and creative churches on the planet. This album, however, doesn’t show it. Many of the songs having the same lyrical structure as previous Hillsong albums.

If I were to describe the latest Hillsong release in one word, it would be disappointing. That being said, you may still be able to implement a few of the songs in your worship set.

Songs to consider for your next worship set:

  • “Cornerstone” – The title track of the album. This could be used as a response/communion song.
  • “Running” – This song could make a good worship opener.
  • “Praise Him” –  One of the more creative songs on the album. I can see this one being covered quite a bit in the next few years.

Brothers McClurg – Join In The Sound

Brothers McClurg, a worship band from the Buffalo area, has earned themselves a new fan. After listening to their first full-length album, Join In The Sound, I’m certainly excited for more to come. They have a unique sound, combining folk and rock (as well as a bit of country).

I’m not a huge fan of country. But if you consider Brothers McClurg “country”, I’m certainly willing to change my stance.

I’m seeing their creative, infectious melodies and meaningful, well-written lyrics more prevalent in rising worship bands, and that gives me a lot of hope for the future of worship music.

Songs to consider for your next worship set:

  • “Join in the Sound” – An invitation to worship. This song makes an excellent worship opener.
  • “You Shine Through” – My favorite track on the album. The chorus is so powerful and catchy.
  • “Alive” – This is one of my favorite songs from All Sons & Daughters, and Brothers McClurg gave it a fresh, new sound.

Jesus Culture – Emerging Voices

Fans of past albums may be surprised not to hear Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala, and Melissa How on the latest Jesus Culture release. But there’s always a time for change and moving on. Emerging Voices brings four new worship leaders to the stage – some “emerging voices” – if you will.

This album also brings all original songs to the table – which is a first for a Jesus Culture album. In a way, it almost seems like a transitional album. While it brings less “gems” than previous Jesus Culture releases, Emerging Voices is an excellent next step for the ministry.

Songs to consider for your next worship set:

  • “Mighty Fortress” – Powerful, driving, and intense – that’s how I would describe this song. Very different from previous Jesus Culture hits.
  • “Let It Go” – I can see this one becoming a big hit in the Church – similar to “One Thing Remains”.
  • “I Won’t Settle” – This song would be great as a special for a sermon on our relationship with God.

One Sonic Society
Live At The Tracking Room

When One Sonic Society released their first studio album, Forever Reign, I wasn’t very impressed with their music. But that’s changed with their newest album, Live At The Tracking Room. Most of the songs on the album are covers from Hillsong or Passion, but One Sonic Society did a great job making the tracks feel new and refreshed.

Of course, the album isn’t perfect. But it’s a great next step in One Sonic Society’s musical journey. If you’re a worship leader, this album is a must-listen. You may have heard most of the songs before, but One Sonic Society gives them a new life that might make you want to give them a second look.

Songs to consider for your next worship set:

  • “The Greatness of Our God” – A great congregational worship song that sounds much better than the original.
  • “Jesus, Son of God” – This song reminds me of Here I Am To Worship. I can see it making waves in the church for a few years.
  • “God You Are My God” – The use of stringed instruments on this song gave it immediate awesome points in my book. Plus, it has a catchy chorus!

About the Author

Jordan Wiseman
Jordan is the Communications Coordinator at Lima Community Church in Lima, OH. He still hasn't gotten over the LOST finale.

3 Comments

  1. Totally agree about “Cornerstone.” It usually takes me about 3-5 listens through a Hillsong album for something to really catch on with me; but even after a large number of listens, I can’t really remember a single melody or hook as I’m sitting here writing this. It seems UNITED (and Joel Houston’s influence on UNITED) really has most of the creative guns firing right now. Hopefully Rueben and the LIVE! team can sit back, regroup, and become innovative once again.

    1. Yeah, I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s time for Hillsong to realize they don’t need to release a new album every year. 🙂

      1. Wait, no new Hillsong album every year?! That’d be crazy.

        But I agree. I like the route UNITED has taken as of late.


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