I’ve been in a complete Hillsong Young & Free rut (a good rut, don’t worry). I was all about the upbeat tunes, but maybe since the seasons have changed, I knew that it was time to shift back to some good ole worship, so I was super excited that Open Heaven/River Wild would be out and I knew it would be good. Hillsong Worship’s last album, No Other Name was satisfying, but this is the group that brought us Cornerstone, so I was expecting no less than that for Open Heaven/River Wild.
When “One Thing” was released, I fell in love with it. It has those Hillsong type lyrics that everyone can recognize and wasn’t a slow melody but still great to worship along to. I must admit that’s the only song I heard before the whole album was released, even though a couple other tracks were floating around. When it comes to worship heavy albums I like to listen to them whole, I feel like it tells a better story that way.
Some tracks that stood out was of course the title song, “Open Heaven (River Wild),” which embodies the feel of the album. “Transfiguration” is actually my favorite song. It’s probably one of those gut-wrenching songs this album offers and will be on repeat for me. “Here With You” provides me with my favorite lyric, which is, “Eternity residing in my soul.” Although it didn’t initially grab my attention, “In God We Trust” starts off okay but by the time it builds up it hits all the right notes, as does “Never Forsaken.”
The deluxe version of this album includes Hillsong UNITED and Hillsong Young & Free performing some of their songs live, including a live version of “This is Living.” Ever since I saw the tracklist, I was anxious to hear the mash-up of “Pursue” and “All I Need is You.” “All I Need is You” is one of those iconic Hillsong songs and one of the first I had ever heard of them many years ago. I absolutely love the combination of the two, mixing new Hillsong with a classic.
Overall, the album was solid. It was definitely greatly anticipated and I feel like there are some key songs in it. I feel like all of Hillsong’s music is growing and expanding, so it’s interesting to see the directions it will start shifting to.
Have you heard Open Heaven/River Wild yet? Did you enjoy it? Have a favorite song? What other artists have been on your rotation? I’m always looking for something new!