Friday, February 10, 2012

Hillsong United: Live From Miami Review

It’s been four long years since Hillsong United last released a live album. Just last year, the Australian worship group released their successful Aftermath album, which featured their radio single “Search My Heart,” as well as other fan-favorites including “Like an Avalanche,” “Bones,” “Rhythms of Grace,” and more. Also last year, Hillsong United embarked on the Aftermath Tour, which took them across the United States from Chicago to Pittsburgh to Miami. Live From Miami is an exciting look into that tour, over two hours and featuring twenty-two songs, including favorites from the Aftermath CD.

The two-disc project opens up very well with “Go,” “Break Free,” and “You,” all very energetic and fan-favorites. Crowd participation, especially singing out at the top of their lungs, makes the listen very exciting. The first disc takes a worshipful turn by “Search My Heart,” after which Joel Houston shares a powerful message of God’s faithfulness and His purpose in our life. Hillsong United’s most popular worship anthems “Mighty to Save,” “Hosanna,” and “All I Need Is You” follow, “Hosanna” especially being a standout as fans scream when they recognize their favorite song. “Bones,” very heavenly follows, much more mellow than the original from the CD, but a great track nevertheless. “Nova” and “Aftermath” close up album one, on a slower but powerful note.

“Freedom Is Here/Shout Onto God” kicks off disc two strongly, after which comes “Like An Avalanche,” down a few keys. Though it doesn’t build as well as the original, it was cool to hear the crowd and backup worship leaders singing along as well. “Rhythms of Grace” is equally on the worshipful, slower side of things, but does have the cool piano instrumental that made it a highlight on the Aftermath CD. The remaining tracks are Hillsong United anthems that have made the worship group a hit over the past few years, including “The Stand,” “Inside Out” which has an acoustic feel to it, “Your Name High” and “Take It All” both reviving the energetic praise and worship, the slower “Take Heart,” and a few more.

Live From Miami is a fabulous CD/DVD for the ultimate Hillsong United fan. I do think that some fans may wish to pick and choose which songs to pick up off this album, since many of the songs in the tracklist have already been featured on several Hillsong United albums in the past. But for those who will be purchasing the physical CD or DVD, they will not be disappointed watching or listening to the exciting live show and Holy Spirit anointing on Hillsong United.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: February 14, 2012

Track listing:

Disc One:
1. Go
2. Break Free
3. You
4. Search My Heart
5. Mighty to Save
6. Hosanna
7. All I Need is You
8. Bones
9. Nova
10. Aftermath

Disc Two:
1. Freedom is Here/Shout Unto God
2. Like An Avalanche
3. Rhythms of Grace
4. Oh You Bring
5. The Stand
6. From the Inside Out
7. A Song to Sing…
8. With Everything
9. Your Name High
10. Take It All
11. Yours Forever
12. Take Heart

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