Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hillsong: Born is the King Review


‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to get into the Christmas mood than through Christmas music from Hillsong? Born is the King is Hillsong’s third Christmas project, featuring eight songs both original and traditional.

Cheery bells open up the EP in “The Westward Procession,” followed by “Joy to the World.” You’ve heard plenty of renditions of this carol, but banjos and ebullient vocals help give this track a new spin. The angelic vocals are also excellent for this Christmas carol. The title track, “Born is the King (It’s Christmas)” almost doesn’t even sound like Hillsong! It’s an upbeat pop track with strong guitars and a fun message of rejoicing in the day the Lord has made – Christmas!

As soon as I heard “Emmanuel” from God He Reigns, I thought it was a perfect Christmas carol, and Darlene Zschech offers an all-new, more acoustic rendition of it for Born is the King. This original is definitely welcome, celebrating the fact that Emmanuel will never let go of us. “We Three Kings” is also mostly acoustic, altering the melody slightly, but delivering the well-known tale of the three kings of Orient following the Star to the newborn King.

“O Come Let Us Adore Him” is a modification of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” focusing on the last line of the carol and building nicely for its arrival, while “O Holy Night” appears very angelic with triple harmonies and a serene backing. And lastly, the serene “Silent Night” concludes the Born is the King EP, very traditional and peaceful.

Overall, it doesn’t totally sound like a Hillsong album, but it’s a great Christmas project nevertheless. There’s a nice mix of traditional carols with originals, as well as a playful set, too!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: November 8, 2011

Track listing:
1. The Westward Procession (instrumental)
2. Joy to the World
3. Born Is the King (It’s Christmas)
4. Emmanuel
5. We Three Kings
6. O Come Let Us Adore Him
7. O Holy Night
8. Silent Night

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