Review: This Is Living
David Austin Black
Hillsong Young & Free is part of the youth ministry of Hillsong Chuch. Their first album, entitled We Are Young and Free, consists entirely of live worship recordings. It contains a different sound than that we are used to hearing from Hillsong’s various musical entities. The energy is palpable throughout the album, and made me quite excited for further music from the group. This is Living is Y&F’s first studio EP, and it proves that they are able to translate the spark found in their live worship to studio endeavors as well.
The title track and “Energy” both have, well, energy. While listening to the EP I had a 2-year-old with me, and she could not restrain herself from dancing to these tracks. They both speak to the joy and vigor that our walk with Jesus should give us, and do so in such a way that I just had to dance along. Unfortunately, though, I did not feel that the collaboration with Lecrae added very much to the EP. I am quite the Lecrae fan, but his contribution to “This Is Living” seemed like a derailing of the song. It breaks the flow, and almost makes me believe Lecrae’s part was added in last-minute. It does not make the song bad, necessarily, but it does seem superfluous.
“Pursue,” and “Sinking Deep,” and an acoustic rendition of “This is Living” are more intimate worship songs. My personal favorite song on the EP is the stripped-down “This is Living.” The listener is able to grasp the lyrics and their significance easier here than in faster version. The chorus is simply beautiful: “You take me higher than I’ve been before / It’s Your perfect Love that sees me soar / God your freedom is an open door / You are everything I want and more.” I’ve permanently added this song to my devotional playlist, and I would bet many of you will do the same after having a listen.
All-in-all, I am more than satisfied with this studio project from Hillsong Y&F. The music is bright and God-centered, rejoicing in the freedom that life in Christ gives us and pausing to voice quiet, impassioned cries of the heart. The only problems I have with the EP (and the first is not really a logical complaint, because it is an EP) are that it is too short and the the Lecrae collaboration appears a bit forced. I very much look forward to future music from them, and I hope that the next time Y&F hits the studio that it will be for a full album and not just an EP that leaves us wanting desiring more!
You can pick it up by clicking [amazon text=here&asin=http://www.amazon.com/This-Living-Hillsong-Young-Free/dp/B00S1ICW8Q/ref=pd_sim_sbs_dmusic_1?ie=UTF8%26refRID=01CKPG84PMEX9F78Q0Q8]!
+ Great translation of energy found in live worship to a studio project
+ Meaningful lyrics
+ Does well with both upbeat and more intimate tracks
- Too short!
- Lecrae collaboration did not add much to the EP