Hillsong – Glorious Ruins album review



I write this review on the heels of getting to spend a night with Hillsong United at the Banker’s Life Field House in Indianapolis.  In fact, as I look down at my hands while typing, I realize that I’m still wearing the bright florescent lime green wrist band from the show.  There was something so powerful, so convicting, so Holy and humbling about the whole experience that I guess I’m still not able to take it off…to part with the wristband and to begin to let the evening slip away…

As I listen to Glorious Ruins with the crowd backing vocals and the spacious arena reverb, it’s easy for me to imagine being with them live: lights down low, surrounded by voices, eyes closed, hands in the air…  And maybe that’s the greatest success of Glorious Ruins as an album,  that ability to transport the listener from their current location (in the car, on a bus, at the gym, hacking away at the keyboard in the office) into a space where they join the communion of saints in worship.  Or maybe to put it another way…it’s not an album that asks for a detached analysis and review, it’s an album that demands participation.  It may lack the exploration, complexity and creativity of Hillsong United’s Zion…that  synthy Cliff Martinez influenced Drive-esqe sonic pallet, the swirling textures, the delayed vocals, the processed-compressed-reversed-panned-cut-split-chopped-and-put-back-together quality that makes Zion such a joy to listen to over and over.  But it’s clear that the goal of  Glorious Ruins is much different.  They are easy to sing, passionate, anthemic worship songs that beg you to lose yourself in worship, and from the opening stadium applause of Always Will, the album brings you in and keeps you there.  It’s a lofty and noble goal, and one that Hillsong accomplishes with ease.  With so many songs that are perfect and playable for the local church, I’m excited to see which songs will resonate and speak to each particular community.

So what do you think??? What tracks stand out to you???

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