Hello everyone, its me Danny, guitarist from the Citylights Worship Band. I’m back from a long hiatus. Forgive me for not being so consistent but I am back and better than ever. More content, more music, more free music, more of everything you love.
This week I am going to be reviewing the album Aftermath by Hillsong United
This is Hillsong United’s second studio album since 2007’s All of the Above.
Originally planned to be the 2nd part of their Across their Earth album (1st one being 2009’s Tear Down the Walls) the plans were scrapped and they started fresh with a new direction, new songs, and a new style. From the start of the first track you can hear that this is not the typical Hillsong music you are used to hearing on a Sunday morning. There is this sense of freshness and young sound to this album. Being led by Hillsong’s Creative Director, Joel Houston, they rely more on synth and delays and various other effects to make this album stand out from other Christian albums being released around that time.
Hillsong United’s purpose in making this album was to step out of this box that we put ourselves in when we think of Christian music and that we are able to be free in whatever do. Here is an interview with Joel Houston explaining it best:
This album has alot of high moments and some amazing stand out tracks. The song Awakening was originally written by Chris Tomlin and Reuben Morgan (writer of Mighty to Save). This album really shows what the band can do to a song that was already made into its own (being on both Chris Tomlin’s Studio Album and performed live on the Passion conferences latest recording “Passion: Awakening”) and changing it up a bit and the song still sounding refreshing and new when performed by them.
On the “fast” side of the album you have the tracks: Go, Nova and Light Will Shine. From these songs I feel that the songs Nova and Light Will Shine work perfectly for this album even though there is a different sense of musicality in these songs. These songs included numerous loops, synths, and overdubbing to re-create the “indie” style that is most popular at this moment. The track Go (starting the album off at #2) is a perfect song to start the album. It gives us a bit of everything we love about Hillsong United. It includes the “rocking” part, has a catchy chorus, and the lyrics are pretty straight forward that it would be very easy to play and learn this song for a Sunday morning service.
Throughout the album there are some tracks that I feel are just filler tracks and were either unnecessary or just felt way different from the album: B.E. and Bones. These tracks are good but I feel that they were more of the low points of the album. Aside from the these 2 tracks the rest of them are pretty superb. A great song is Search My Heart which speaks about getting closer to God. Rhythms of Grace, another excellent track of living in excellence and being overwhelmed at Gods grace towards us. The track that I feel that really conveys the message of what Hillsong United is all about is the track Take Heart. There message is to let everyone know that there is hope and we must trust in hope and not dwell on our failures because Jesus died on the cross for us and has overcome all of it. The chorus of this song is:
“So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again”
My 2 favorite tracks of this album are: Like an Avalanche and Aftermath. Aftermath explains to us about what God did for us and the aftermath of when Jesus died on the cross for us. I would say that this song would be a perfect song for Easter as it is of a remembrance of when Jesus died on the cross and that he loves us:
“Yet the hands that cradle the stars
Are the hands that bled for me
In a moment of glorious surrender
You were broken for all the world to see
Lifted out of the ashes
I am found in the aftermath”
Finally, Like an Avalanche. At first when I first skimmed through this album I didnt really pay much attention to it and did not like it. After a couple of listens I started to like the song more and more. The bridge and chorus are very powerful, it is a proclamation, telling God to take all that I have because I love you and that is all we need. His love and grace is so great that sometimes all we can do is just fall on our knees and worship Him.
“Take my life
Take all that I am
With all that I am I will love You
Take my heart
Take all that I have
Jesus how I adore You
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compare to this love
Burning in my heart”
I would say the standout tracks in this album would be: Like an Avalanche, Aftermath, Search My Heart, Go and Awakening. These tracks would in an essence define the type of style that Hillsong United is trying to go for. This album probably wont be for everyone, with tracks like Bones, Light Will Shine, and the interlude B.E. being too differently for the average listeners.
As a bonus I included this awesome cover of the song Like an Avalanche found on Youtube by Carlos, the sound guy. Hope you enjoy this song and the album as much as I did. If you have any suggestions, comments, questions, etc. just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org