16 Songs, 1 Hour 30 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is where the Hillsong franchise was born, and the Australian act’s straightforward sound remains largely unchanged on their 24th live album. OPEN HEAVEN/River Wild has a traditional, hymn-like feel compared to other modern worship projects, particularly evident on the stirring title track and the passionate praise of “Jesus I Need You.” Longtime Hillsong writers Reuben Morgan and Joel Houston lend their talents to the cause, exploring theological themes that sustain listeners long after the music stops.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is where the Hillsong franchise was born, and the Australian act’s straightforward sound remains largely unchanged on their 24th live album. OPEN HEAVEN/River Wild has a traditional, hymn-like feel compared to other modern worship projects, particularly evident on the stirring title track and the passionate praise of “Jesus I Need You.” Longtime Hillsong writers Reuben Morgan and Joel Houston lend their talents to the cause, exploring theological themes that sustain listeners long after the music stops.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
252 Ratings
252 Ratings
The Proffessa ,

No thanks

Sounds like everything else. No original lyrics. No sense of the anointing. Give us what you gave us back in the day. Stop letting cool young adults steer the musical ship and let the old timers who've been with Jesus give us meat. What happened to songs like "He is Lord," "Made Me Glad," or "Worthy is the Lamb?" Hillsong has followed the way of every other culturally relevant church musically. Take back your style. Give us back the anointing.

YesBrian ,

Yo

This album is so lit

Falaskan ,

The same

Hillsong is great on passion, and has been working on writing songs a bit less simple than previously, but now they all just sound the same. I listened to every clip, and there seems to be no effort to write upbeat songs anymore. Almost every song on this, and they’re last couple of albums, is chock full of nothing but contemplative, lounge style music, with a intentional bent on sounding like they just downed a full bottle of Ambien before they started singing.

About Hillsong Worship

Christian rock and worship group Hillsong spun out of Australia's Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal ministry based in northwest Sydney. Founded in August 1983 by New Zealand natives Brian and Bobbie Houston, Hillsong Church was first known as Hills Christian Life Centre. At launch, the congregation counted just 45 members, but grew to 900 within four years. As the church's music ministry evolved, in 1986 the Houstons founded the Hillsong Conference, an annual event created to teach and nurture contemporary Christian musicians. A live CD released under the name Hillsong Live (later to be rebranded as Hillsong Worship) titled The Power of Your Love hit retail in 1992, featuring singers/songwriters Geoff Bullock and Darlene Zschech, both mainstays on the myriad Hillsong albums to follow. By the end of the decade, the Hillsong brand was so well-known that in 1999 the Houstons renamed the church Hillsong as well. Despite several controversies that caused the church to become a lightning rod for their strong political stances, the juggernaut surged forward and in 2004 the live Hillsong Worship release For All You've Done topped the mainstream Australian pop charts. A year later, more than 30,000 people attended July's Hillsong Conference. By early 2006, the Houstons counted more than 19,000 parishioners attending services each week.

While the Hillsong Worship series has become an annual staple releasing music recorded at the yearly Hillsong Conferences, the church's other primary series, Hillsong United, began as the church's youth ministry band. Originally dubbed United Live, the group was first led by singers/songwriters Reuben Morgan and Marty Sampson. Their 1999 debut, Everyday, established their creative template: each album was recorded live at the annual October youth conference Encounterfest -- enabling contributions from a variety of church members, friends, and supporters, including the popular Christian folk chanteuse Brooke Fraser -- and released on CD and DVD early the following year. When Morgan left United Live in 2002 to mount a solo career, the Houstons' son Joel took his place, prompting the name change to Hillsong United. In the years to follow their popularity snowballed on both sides of the equator, with 2006's United We Stand emerging as the year's best-selling Christian LP at Canadian retail. All of the Above found similar success in 2007, as did 2009's a_CROSS//the_EARTH: Tear Down the Walls and the accompanying live album Faith + Hope + Love.

Heading into the 2010's, Hillsong's music continued to flourish as the church expanded to other satellite locations across the globe. The church's two major musical brands began to intermingle as album covers appeared simply bearing the name Hillsong. Other popular series flying under the Hillsong banner are Hillsong Chapel and Hillsong Young & Free. Consistently popular in Australia, Hillsong also achieved major popularity in the U.S., with albums like 2010's God Is Able, 2013's Zion, 2014's No Other Name, 2015's Open Heaven/River Wild, and 2016's Let There Be Light topping the Billboard Christian charts and usually reaching the upper echelons of the pop charts as well. In 2017, they delivered the six-track EP What a Beautiful Name, featuring the title track single sung by Brooke Ligertwood. The concert album, There Is More: Live in Sydney, Australia 2018, followed a year later, and featured the track "Who You Say I Am." ~ Jason Ankeny & Timothy Monger

ORIGIN
Sydney, Australia
FORMED
1983

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