(Photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan)
Hillsong Young & Free Acoustic Album Review
By Sarah Pineda
Grammy-nominated worship band, Hillsong Young & Free, released their new “Youth Revival Acoustic” album this past March, along with a full visual album. Sister band with Hillsong UNITED and Hillsong Worship, they are rooted from Pastor Brian Houston’s megachurch, Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. Targeted towards the millennial Christian audience, their music includes a fusion of various musical styles with influence from electronic dance music or EDM, pop, and upbeat rock. Fans of the worship band include Selena Gomez, who has performed alongside Hillsong Young & Free at a Los Angeles concert last year.
The remastered acoustic album includes seven out of their 12 songs from their sophomore album “Youth Revival” with two bonus studio version songs. The new album transforms their upbeat sound to slower arrangement, meant for a more intimate worship. Dance-hits such as “Real Love,” “Where You Are” and “Falling Into You” are stripped down from the electronic instruments and sung at a slower pace, to put more focus on the lyrics of the songs. Instead of jumping up and down, the acoustic rendition of these songs call for lifted hands and closed eyes. While written as love songs for God, the acoustic arrangement of these songs and their lyrics fit in pop culture, but still emphasize worship with God at the center.
The album differs than other acoustic albums, as they use more than just an acoustic guitar and a piano. Instead, Hillsong Young & Free keep their synths from their original songs to play out the customized beats. Their use of the synthesizer in this album helps keep their music youthful and musically inclined.
Similar to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” visual album, many other artists and bands including Hillsong Young & Free have copied this style. This concept places a visual concept with the music. The majority of the album has correlating music videos which can be viewed on their YouTube channel. The videos show each of the band members playing their instruments, and singing in their studio with an array of colors as the background. The beginning of the clips show an unedited side to Hillsong Young & Free, incorporating to the rawness of their music and their true intentions on how the songs should be received. By seeing the band members worship as they perform their songs, gives a visualization on how they minimized their sets so that they can emphasize on praising God.
Youth Revival Acoustic can be streamed from most digital music streaming services, and on their website. Their upcoming U.S. tour begins April 28 running throughout May at several churches and venues for what they call, Youth Revival Nights. Additional information and tickets for their tour can be found on their website at http://hillsong.com/youngandfree/