Review: Hillsong United – Aftermath

Label: Hillsong Music

Release Date: February 15, 2010

The worship favorite Hillsong United is back at it again! They’ve released 11 albums, but this is only their second studio album.  The first being the 2007 release “All of the Above” which included the smash songs “Break Free”, “Lead Me to the Cross” and “Hosanna”.  Similar to that album, and most of Hillsong’s catalogue, there are some tunes that’ll be mightily used to help us worship our Savior along with some
other songs that are unfortunately just placed to round out the album.
When I think of the word aftermath, I think of devastation, destruction, so I expected the title track “Aftermath” to be more dynamic.  Instead, they slow the pace way down.  When they think Aftermath, they’re thinking about the aftermath of the cross, what comes next?  What’s left in it’s powerful wake.  The song says, “In that moment of glorious surrender, was the moment you broke the chains on me, lifted out of the ashes, I am found, in the aftermath”.  It’s a beautiful song, but you have to really listen to get it.
The opening song “Take Heart” is over 8 minutes long.  Great lyrics that stick in your head: “all our failures, all our fear, God our healer, He has overcome”.  The slow build, eventually ending with an orchestrated conclusion sets the pace for the album.
My favorite cut, which is subject to change over time is “Like An Avalanche”.  It’s a moving song.  I love the line “Take my life, take all that I am, with all that I am I will love you”.  I can count the female vocalists that I really enjoy listening to on one Hand, & Brooke Fraser is in that select group. So good!
One other that I’ll mention is “Father”.  It’s another epic, slowly building song.  It reminds me of getting a new sports car that you know has a lot of power under the hood, but you have to take it out and open it up before the true force emerges.  I’d love to hear this one live.
The final song (before the bonus cut) is a cover of Passion’s “Awakening”.  It’s a great song that’s already been on the Passion 2010 album as well as Chris Tomlin’s latest “And If Our God Is For Us… “.  It’s slowed down a bit here and missing the guitar solos that really made this song stand out on the original.
The album is a bit more subdued than I expected from a United album.  They keep it pretty low key, and at least half of this album was so slowed down, it would have fit nicely on their traditional Hillsong albums.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 of 5.  Arguably, as this record takes hold and worship leaders start searching for their song, you’re going to hear a few songs played at your church in the next few weeks – guarantee it.  Hillsong constantly churns out great records.  It’s rare that an album is released where every song is a winner.  Although, these extra songs help you at the time of purchase to not be mad that you paid $10 or $12 bucks for 4 great songs.
Grade: 3.5
1. Take Heart
2. Go
3. Like an Avalanche
4. Rhythms of Grace
5. Aftermath
6. B.E. (interlude)
7. Bones
8. Father
9. Nova
10. Light Will Shine
11. Search My Heart
12. Awakening
Bonus Cut: Search My Heart (Radio Version)

2 responses to “Review: Hillsong United – Aftermath

  1. jaymac February 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    haha Brooke doesn’t even sing a lead on this album! :)

  2. Tim March 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    While lyrically this is a good album, musically it was a tremendous disappointment. It completely lacks passion and fails to draw me personally into worship because of the distracting qualities of the instruments or lack thereof. I sat down and used 2 previous albums from United and played one song from each album at a time and it almost seems this was a completely different band. E.G “Salvation is Here” compared to “Aftermath”. I am a worship leader and after talking to other worship leader friends I felt I had to comment because of the unanimous opinion against this album. I would not recommend spending money to buy this album nor would the other 4 leaders who offered opinions.

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