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God He Reigns

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Sep
God He Reigns
Sounds like … ever other Hillsong album from recent years, at times resembling the contemporary worship of Sonicflood, Delirious, and Hillsong's own United worship team.At a glance … God He Reigns is unfortunately another dull by-the-numbers effort from Hillsong Australia, though it won't dissatisfy those who have liked recent efforts from the worship team.Track ListingLet Creation SingSalvation Is HereHis LoveEmmanuelSaviourWonderful GodGod He Reigns/All I Need Is YouYours Is the KingdomWelcome in This PlaceLet Us AdoreAll for LoveKnow You MoreThere Is Nothing Like

For those whose hearts are readily drawn closer to God through the worship music of Hillsong Australia, go forth and enjoy this, another live recording in step with their most recent efforts. If nothing else, Darlene Zschech, Marty Sampson, and the other leaders prove again that they know how to stir praise among fellow worshippers at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

But those looking for substance—artful worship songs praising the author of art—may want to pass on this. God He Reigns is so much like recent Hillsong offerings, from the formulaic songs to the muddy mix, you may as well just read our review of last year's For All You've Done. Or better yet, save yourself some trouble and try the latest from Hillsong's other worship team United. Four songs from that impressive effort are included on this album—though, unfortunately, they're rendered more predictably here.

Nine of this disc's 13 tracks are the usual ballads, interchangeable with other recent compositions from Hillsong. Many, like "Saviour" and "Wonderful God," segue into each other to create epics that just aren't as compelling as they could be, and an R&B flavored version of "All for Love" is especially tedious. The few upbeat tracks ("Yours Is the Kingdom," "His Love") are typical of Sampson, Delirious, and Sonicflood—enjoyably energetic, but oh-so-similar to better songs done before.

This disc does have its moments, such as the title track, an impressive hymn ranking with Hillsong's best. But for the most part, they seem to be recreating the same songs over and over again. This isn't a criticism of Hillsong's worship experience, and with nearly 5 million albums sold in the U.S. alone, many will undoubtedly buy this and enjoy it as more of the same. But it's a pity that this once pioneering worship team has grown so stale over time. Considering that there are superior worship albums available, including Hillsong's United and London spin-offs, there's simply little reason to recommend God He Reigns to anyone who isn't already planning to pick it up.

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