Whenever a new year comes around the corner, as people we tend to make new resolutions, kick old habits and establish healthy goals. The year 2012 has now arrived and we have the opportunity to kick start this year with a bang! The much anticipated, internationally recognized Hillsong United has released their latest album Hillsong United – Live in Miami (2012) February this year. Recorded live at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida in August 2011, this album captures 22 tracks of God-breathed and Christ centered worship with the united purposes of seeing people connecting with Christ Jesus.
Hillsong United – Live in Miami (2012) has creatively engineered to bring forth exciting music using both old and new songs. Fresh from last year’s release of the ‘Aftermath’ album, Live in Miami brings to front several tracks from the 2011 studio album to the ears of the beholder. Hillsong traditionally has had a reputation of bringing congregationally friendly and lyrically sound music to the global church. The release of ‘Aftermath’ surprised and exposed us to different tunes, musical arrangement and lyrics. It was an album with techno and electronics that separated itself from its predecessors. Live in Miami has really brought the lyrics and the heart behind the songs in such great finesse!
Hillsong United – Live in Miami (2012) starts off with a techno-robot voicing “Welcome to the Aftermath”. The crowd starts going wild as Matt Crocker takes the lead with the song ‘Go’. You can hear a loud declaration from the crowd singing, “We’re giving it all away, away. We’re giving it all to go your way~” before the drums and electric guitars kick in! The praise follows into ‘Break Free’ with JD (Jonathan Douglass) asking the people “Is anyone READY to break free in this placeeeeee!??” to which an overzealous crowds responds in cheers!
Throughout the album it felt as though as we were present at Miami attending the conference in person, experiencing the worship first-hand. Leading into the song ‘Mighty to Save’, Hillsong United’s frontman Joel Houston addresses the crowd, “It’s good we can hear ya. It’s a good thing ‘cos you know what tonight it’s more about your voice than it is ours. I don’t know how you came to be here but we’re grateful, we’re glad that you made it.” This reminds us that more important than an album recording, the conference in Miami was establish to connect the hearts of people to God. In response, the crowd sang in confidence to the song ‘Mighty to Save’, declaring God’s faithfulness aloud in unity. Before you know it, we are drawn into the powerful act of worshipping our God and King.
Listening through the album once, it is apparent that the drummer is high on ‘Jesus Juice’! Live in Miami has so many fantastic drum rolls and build-ups that it’s impossible not to give credit to Simon Kobler (Kobes) for his outstanding performance on drums! He comes in strong in Disc 2 starting with ‘Freedom is Here/Shout Unto God’. You can hear the impact and power associated with his drum playing as it elevates from the song ‘From the Inside Out’ through to ‘With Everything’. ‘From the Inside Out’ really touches the heart lyrically. The song engages the crowd to sing soulfully unto the Lord. It enters a powerful free worship session with catchy minor-chord progression known as ‘A Song to Sing’ where people really focus their energy and attention towards God Almighty. At the end of ‘A Song to Sing’, the people started singing “Woahhhh … Woa~aahhhh… Woaahhhhh” whilst the drums continue in momentum, driving the worship. We are slowly brought into the song ‘With Everything’ led by Joel Houston with more drums and free worship happening - a truly remarkable worship experience!
Hillsong United has really compiled a powerful worship CD. There’s especially a high interest within the community for these ‘tour-styled’ album ever since the release of ‘The I Heart Revolution – With Hearts as One’. Hillsong United – Live in Miami (2012) is not an album of newly written songs, rather its worship album that of songs collectively sung in the at a conference in Miami with the intention of drawing all hearts to God through His son Jesus Christ. To those that enjoy losing themselves in worship and love the songs written by Hillsong, then this album is a must! The mixture of loud drums, electric guitars, and a huge cohort of worshippers singing as one church has given this album a wonderful, electric feeling with huge lift!
“These songs that we’re singing are not just some random songs, some ideas, some religious idea of a God. We’re not singing tonight to a dead God, or a distant God, or a dormant God but tonight these songs are songs of life, songs of truth to the ever-lasting, the ever-faithful, the ever-present God”. – Joel Houston.
Mighty to Save
Rhythms of Grace
From the Inside Out
A Song to Sing
Take it All