Why is an urban media outlet covering Hillsong’s latest album Wonder? Hillsong has had an unmistakable impact on churches around the world: every tribe, tongue, and nation. Their worship music has been re-arranged by Gospel and African Choirs alike, and it’s been spun by DJ’s, remixed, and rapped over. So, if you are part of the modern Christian movement, no matter your background, Hillsongs music has touched you in some way. So, here’s our take on an album that is slated to, yet again, become a classic within your church and/or your personal music library.
Once again, Hillsong United brings us another work of art featuring synth-driven worship music. This album is everything we’ve been waiting for from Hillsong United, interesting production, dynamic performances, and well-crafted lyrics. Wonder begins with a slow build to the anticipated new album from Hillsong United with some soft synths before introducing the opening lines of the new record. This is a different sound from Hillsong United that we haven’t heard in a long time. They traded some of the heavy low-synths we came to expect from Hillsong United and incorporated more of a treble-focused sound in this track. The lightness of the song fits well in the theme of Wonder.
Imagery from the title Shadow Step is one that captures attention. This song fits appropriately after Wonder, with the lightness of some relaxed undertoned rhythms. This track features some great imagery for the poetic listener. “I’ll chase your voice through the dark, fix my eyes on the unexpected in the wonder of your shadow step”, are lyrics giving the picture of Jesus walking with us and moving in us. The melody is so catchy you may find you know the chorus before the song is even over. The bridge is a great picture of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross “I can’t explain your heart, or dare to trace out all you are, but when I think about the road you took for love, I know your grace will stay the path”.
Future Marches In pulls you in from the very beginning of the song as one of the most pop driven tracks on the record. This is the opening worship song you can expect to hear soon in many churches. It combines a catchy melody with beautiful lyrics. This track one of the most “sing-able” songs on the record with lyrics like “ Salvation runs for everyone, so open up the doors and let us in!”
So Will I has a different feel than the previous tracks, with more of a mellow reflective approach, bringing your attention to the lyrics, “As you speak a hundred billion galaxies are born, in the vapor of your breath the planets form, if the stars were made to worship so will I”. The entire production of this piece is vibrantly captured to echo God’s creation and our response to His glory. So Will I is the contemplative lyric driven song for the poets in the audience.
Splinters and Stones is a great reminder of the gift Jesus gave on the cross. It picks up on the theme where So Will I touched on, the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is a broken down simplicity in this song that is a nice contrast to the previous tracks on the album.
Glimmer in the Dust is a beautifully written worship song. The clear and powerful vocals are the feature in this song, especially in the bridge and ending chorus.
Greatest of These is captivating even from the intro with a heavier mood. It dynamically describes 1 Corinthians 13. If you need a reminder of what true love is, this song is for you “cause there’s no fear in love, but there is a cross”.
The intro of Shape of Your Heart brings a lighthearted vibe back into the album moving from the heavy mood of the past few tracks which is a nice contrast. This song has new aspects we haven’t heard much of from Hillsong United in its production, especially in the lead vocals. Definitely, a good chill driving song.
Not Today is the power song on this album, with its well-placed snare hits, catchy lyrics and fun synth lines. There’s a really good chance you’ll find yourself dancing while listening to this track singing “let the devil know, not today”. If you are looking for an anthem to start your day off with, this is it. This is the positive light hearted song to add to your sunny day playlist!
Life brings back a more worshipful atmosphere in its pad and synth based lines. This track takes us back to why we were created, to worship God and live out His purpose. Life is a great reminder that when you feel like you don’t know your next step, God’s in control and has plan for you. We can worship knowing we are in His hands.
Rain/Reign is for those who appreciate a bit of theology in their worship music. Rain/Reign gives a beautiful contrast between Jesus reigning as King and His presence falling down “like rain”. The intrigue of this song is in the fueled lyrics.
Water to Wine is the final track on the album and the longest. Water to Wine is one that has a classic Hillsong United mark through the emotion-filled melody and dynamic build up the end of the song and album. The theme of this piece is how Jesus can take our longing for Him and give us more than we need in His mercy. This is the most orchestrated piece on the record. The vocal performance is vibrant and moving throughout the song along with its dynamic arrangement. The production of this piece is easily appreciated because of its constant moving complex arrangement.
This album is well arranged, with each song moving to the next. The theme of this new record fits well it the name Wonder. It begins with the awe and wonder we have at who God is and His greatness and moves throughout creation and our response to Him in our own lives. This new album has beautifully crafted lyrics that poetically depict our hope in Jesus. There are songs that you can dance, worship and relax to. If you’re looking for a new worship record, you’ll want to make sure you pick this up soon!