Hillsong United recently released a new praise and worship album on June 9, 2017, entitled, “Wonder”. Hillsong United is Christian musics most influential artists in the contemporary Christian music genre. “Wonder” is their sixth studio album.
HIllsong United boasts 1.4 million Instagram followers, and has sold over 17 million albums worldwide. It remains the top selling Christian band in the world with numerous awards.
“Wonder” is the follow up album to “Empires” which reached #5 on Billboard’s Top 200.
Wonder: Wonder is about being in awe of God’s creation. It is about how when we walk in the light, the world no longer seems dull, but comes alive in living color. We notice in awe (wonder) all that God has created and His imprint on all of Creation. We no longer see the world as an unsolvable mess, but the Jesus that is alive in it. We aren’t bound by all that is negative, but begin to see it as having unlimited potential for God to intervene.
It begins very slowly, and then picks up tempo. The beat is one that you could dance to- almost a mid to late eighties feel to it. I loved the repetition of “I see the world in color. I see the world in light.” It takes our focus off how we perceive the world and brings it back to how God sees the world- with hope.
Shadow Step: Sweetly sung with piano playing in the background. Picks up in the second stanza with guitar music and increases in tempo.
Shadow Step tells us that God is always there. It is about focusing on the supernatural and on God. It is about moving forward in faith- not waivering. God will never forsake us, and if we don’t waiver in our faith, we will see God move over every situation.
It also instructs us not to be fearful, because God is with us.
Future Marches In: Future Marches In tells us to look to the future with hope, and that we have been set free from the bondage of the enemy. This is something that we should be thankful and rejoice in. Jesus is here, and He died on the cross so that our future is filled with a hope and promise. It intertwines a hope for the future, thankfulness for salvation, and praising God.
The chorus will have listeners praising loudly to God because it tells you that “If you have ___ to lift up your voice and sing.” This song literally opens up the Heavens with praise and worship. Very powerful reminder of God’s goodness and promises.
So Will I (100 Billion X): More of an indie feel, yet very peaceful. It opens with the powerful of God’s Word, and how He created all the universe by a single word. It says, “If Creation sings your praises, so should I.” which is a poignant reminder to believers to be thankful and in awe of God.
The imagery in the lyrics combined with the music are incredibly powerful. It talks about animals obeying the voice of the Lord without question- they simply know that He is God without having to rationalize it. It reminds us that we should, too. If we believe that God wants the best for us, then we should obey Him because He is God and He takes care of His Creation.
Splinters and Stones: Opens very softly and sweetly. Splinters and Stones speaks to brokenness. It tells of God’s love for us even when we have nothing to give, and how He makes us whole. It is an excellent song for praise and worship. You hear the longing for Christ, and the crying out is echoed in the music.
Glimmer in the Dust: The music is a beautiful mixture of gentle ebbs and flows. It speaks of God’s love that envelops us, and God’s ultimate sacrifice- His Son. There is some interesting imagery with “I found Heaven in pieces with glimmering dust, Broken dust in reflection to a lifetime of sin”.
It also speaks of a time when we will be face to face with God standing in awe of His wonder.
Glimmer in the Dust really echoes the awesomeness and wonder of God both lyrically and musically. One of my favorite tracks on the album because of its beauty and simplicity musically, yet powerful usage of imagery lyrically.
Greatest of These: Greatest of These speaks to God’s second command wherein He instructs people to love- love God, love your neighbor, and love on each other.
The lyrics take into account what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:1 about how he could do anything, but without love, it would be like the “clanging of cymbals”. We can do anything, and while it appears on the outside to be good, if there is no love… no compassion… then our efforts are truly somewhat in vain.
Shape of Your Heart: Shape of Your Heart discusses the depths of the love of Christ. It discusses how it envelops us, encompasses us, and makes our hearts soar. God loves us with a depth that is far more than we can ever imagine, and will fill us beyond what we can comprehend.
Not Today: Not Today is a powerful praise and worship song. However, it is different than the traditional worship ballad in the sense that it pushes back against the enemy lyrically.
“Your love stood down death
Crushed the devil’s head
Fear is just a liar
Running out of breath
The fight beneath Your feet
I’m standing on Jesus’ Name
So let the devil know not today”
Very upbeat song with an early nineties feel to it. It does pray to God, but also casts down the enemy.
Life: Life is a beautiful song that will draw you into worship. Lyrically, it is almost like a Haiku poem. It has many descriptive elements. The lyrics are short, succinct, and to the point. The music is beautiful and ethereal which draw you into worship with God.
Life is all about drawing closer to God. It is about a deep fire, and a deep longing to be in the presence of our Lord.
Rain/Reign: This song is about God’s love for all of Creation, and the beauty in His love. It is how He loves us so much that He desired to save us from our sins. It discusses the mightiness of God in it’s lyrics, and the music is somewhat thunderous in places which ties in to the lyrics discussing God’s majesty.
“You fall like rain
In fire and thunder
The mountains melt
Like wax before You
Your kingdom reigns
In everlasting grace and wonder
Your love making all things new
Your love making everything beautiful”
Water to Wine: Water into Wine discusses the old wineskin bursting into something new (new creation upon our salvation) (references “putting off the old man and embracing the new”). It is about staying in God’s love, and how only God can satisfy what our soul desires.
“Wonder” is very powerful lyrically, and I loved the way the lyrics really spoke to me. It reminded me of God’s creation, and the awe in its perfection. When we take time to be in awe of what God has done, we begin to appreciate Him more, and praise Him more.
“Wonder” is a powerful reminder of God’s goodness, greatness, and love for His children. This should be another hit for Hillsong United as it will speak to every person listening to it.