Artist:  Hillsong
Title:  This Is Our God
Label:  Integrity Worship

Familiar faces meet the current crop …

Ever since Hillsong United sprung up to fill the worship needs of teens and 20-somethings, the standard Hillsong movement has steadily shaken up its usual recipe for live recordings.

Though names like Darlene Zschech, Reuben Morgan and Joel Houston are familiar for followers of this church troupe, This Is Our God introduces several new praise leaders and songwriters in hopes of expanding its audience even further. Merging those classic and current names mostly hits the mark across this generous 16-track concert, introduced by Houston with the stirring, congregational chants of “Your Name High” and Morgan’s moving take on the gentle “This Is Our God.”

Yet, the relatively fresh faces are the true point of appeal on this project, including the inspirational pop stylings of Mike Guglielmucci during the epic “Healer,” along with the vibrant Brit-pop approach of Matt Crocker and James Dunlop dueting on “You Deserve.”

Even with those obvious talents, multi-million album selling solo troubadour Brooke Fraser steals the show thanks to her glorious vocals throughout the escalating “You’ll Come” and the riveting piano pop of “Desert Song.” Outside of an unneeded interlude of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (which literally seems like the millionth version recorded), this progressive collection simultaneously highlights Hillsong’s longtime talents with the vertically centered stars of tomorrow.



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**This interview first published on August 4, 2008.