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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hillsong Live's "Glorious Ruins"
Prime Cuts: Christ is Enough, You Crown the Year, Glorious Ruins

"Glorious Ruins" is an oxymoron. In secular parlance, it would be ludicrous to search for glory within the debris of one's ruins. But in the demands of the Gospel glory and ruins are, like two sides of a coin, indispensable. The call of Christ is to die. We are called us first and foremost to...
Published 19 months ago by Timothy Yap

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Purchasing... But Not A Classic
The latest release from Hillsong Live, Glorious Ruins, is definitely worth checking out. It is not Cornerstone, which was a truly fresh offering from the Australia-based worship team, very reminiscent of their "old-time" recordings, with each song being very intentional about keeping Christ front and center.

And yet, what I do appreciate about this particular...
Published 18 months ago by LVS


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hillsong Live's "Glorious Ruins", July 2, 2013
This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
Prime Cuts: Christ is Enough, You Crown the Year, Glorious Ruins

"Glorious Ruins" is an oxymoron. In secular parlance, it would be ludicrous to search for glory within the debris of one's ruins. But in the demands of the Gospel glory and ruins are, like two sides of a coin, indispensable. The call of Christ is to die. We are called us first and foremost to die to sin, ourselves and our selfish desires. Unless we first learn to die in utter ruins, there can never be any resurrection into Christ's glorious life. This Gospel paradox is the apotheosis of Hillsong Live's twenty second live album. Released perennial normally in July, the release of "Glorious Ruins" is to coincide with the Mega Church's yearly conference in Sydney, Australia. As there's ring of melancholy accompanying the notion of ruins, what's most heartbreaking about "Glorious Ruins" is the complete absence of Darlene Zschech. For 21 albums, Zschech has been the face, the voice, the pioneer, the orchestrator and the visionary behind each and every Hillsong Live album. More than just known for writing some of Hillsong's most popular worship staples such as "Shout to the Lord," "Worthy is the Lamb" and "At the Cross," Zschech took what was the worship music of a suburban church to an International level. Zschech's absence is definitely a felt loss here. Without Zschech at the helm, the vocals are split between the usual crew of Reuben Morgan, Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, Ben Fielding, Jonathon Douglass, Annie Garratt and Dave Ware. The only featured new lead vocalist is senior pastor Brian Houston's daughter Laura Toganivalu.

"Glorious Ruins," the title cut, a song led and co-written by Joel Houston expresses the very heart of this record when Houston sings, "Let the ruins come to life/In the beauty of Your Name/Rising up from the ashes/God forever You reign." This pensive worship ballad that speaks of resurrection after all we have hoped for in life has crashed has a holy reminiscence of how God raised an army out of dry bones in Ezekiel's time. "Christ is Enough," on the other hand, is one of two Reuben Morgan led songs. "Christ is Enough" comes into two movements within the song: the first finds Morgan exalting the eminence of Christ as our all sufficient need. The second movement seamlessly tags on our response to Him with the hymn "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." The other Reuben Morgan-led song "Glorify Your Name" is this album's lodestar. Co-written by Morgan with worship music's biggest names including Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram and Ed Cash, "Glorify Your Name" is a twenty first century "How Great Thou Art."

However, in the post-Zschech configuration of Hillsong Live, there is an absence of the female sound. Initially what set Hillsong Live apart was Zschech's mellifluous vocals. Even on songs she was not singing lead, she would always add her haunting harmonies to create a rich vocal layer that has become their patented sound. This time round, Annie Garratt and Laura Toganivalu are the only female representatives here. Garratt who got to sing lead on two full cuts on "Cornerstone" gets only get to sing lead on the last verse of "Man of Sorrows" with Jad Gillies. "Man of Sorrows" exhibits all of Brooke Ligertwood's (Fraser) greatness: intricate Scripturally-woven lyrics and a stately hymn-like melodic structure. Another Ligterwood co-write is "You Crowned the Year" featuring Laura Toganival on vocals. "You Crowned the Year" is a celebration of God's goodness to all who draw near to Him based on Psalm 65:11. However, just like Zschech, Ligertwood's voice (she sang lead on previous Hillsong's favorites such as "Lord of Lords" and "Hosanna") is dearly missed.

Fans who love the fast and sturdy worship builders such as "Running' or "Salvation is Here" or "Better than Life:" will definitely love the hook -laden "Always Will." However, the blatantly few female leads and far too many sound-alike male leads make some of the tracks flow one into another without much distinction. Also, tracks like "Closer" and "God Who Saves" may find great affinity with today's modern worship songs but they have pilfered their distinctiveness along the way. Nevertheless, despite these quibbles, "Glorious Ruins" is still one of this year's best worship albums. This record again quiets the myth that Hillsong Live is all about hype. Rather, they are a talented faith-filled worship band that believes that even after our lives are blown into smithereens, we will still rise again from our ruins. Such resurrection comes not from the outflow of our goodness or our strength. Rather, it is a testimonial to the death-defying power of our glorious and resurrected Christ.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Purchasing... But Not A Classic, July 16, 2013
This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
The latest release from Hillsong Live, Glorious Ruins, is definitely worth checking out. It is not Cornerstone, which was a truly fresh offering from the Australia-based worship team, very reminiscent of their "old-time" recordings, with each song being very intentional about keeping Christ front and center.

And yet, what I do appreciate about this particular album is the handful of unique, borderline-prophetic songs that actually arm worshippers to release the Word of the Lord through song. Three standout tracks that fit this description are "Glorious Ruins," "Where the Spirit of the Lord Is," and "You Crown the Year."

Admittedly, I am biased to the Darlene Zschech era of Hillsong albums (she is not present on this recording, either vocally or through any of her songs). For this reason, I would highly recommend Zschech's latest recording, Revealing Jesus. This is not dismissing the unique work that the Holy Spirit is doing through the emerging generation of songwriters and worship leaders at Hillsong Church, Sydney. What is ever-refreshing about listening to and watching Zschech is witnessing one who is first, hungry and passionate for God's Presence, and then - a far second - a worship leader.

Back to Ruins. I think what makes the album a bit of a jumble is the inclusion of the beginning and middle "praise" tracks--the fast-paced, clappy songs that tend to come standard with any live praise and worship project. I will say this, though. If you are looking for lyrically solid up-tempo songs of praise for your church, small group, or worship experience, I recommend revisiting some of Hillsong's older recordings. No doubt, Hillsong Music undeniably defined the "praise" genre through songs such as "My Redeemer Lives," "Everyday," "Shout of the King," "Salvation is Here," "The First and the Last," and even more recently, "Endless Light" and "Children of the Light."

Other solid worship tracks include: The majestic Calvary-focused "Man of Sorrows" (co-written by Brooke Fraser of Hosanna and None But Jesus) and the riveting anthem "You Never Fail" declaring the faithfulness and stronghold breaking power of Jesus (Joel Houston).

A solid offering from Hillsong Live - all around. Worth purchasing just for the mentioned tracks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, December 13, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
Great music! Would highly recommend this one if you love Christian music . Seems like they just get better with every cd they make.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very uplifting!!, November 22, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
What's not to like about fabulous praise and worship leaders and music! Nothing like being ushered into the presence of the Lord with Hillsong!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting songs !, October 15, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
Beautiful and creative songs to God. I listen to this frequently, it makes my spirit soar. I would definetly recommend this for anyone of any age. Young or old will love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great CD, October 28, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
This is in my opinion the best CD Hillsong has done to date!

I will buy several more as gifts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love my praise and worship!!!, December 11, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Audio CD)
I love Hillsong Worship. I'm sure that you will be greatly blessed with the purchase of this album!! God bless you :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Glory, November 21, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Live) (MP3 Music)
My favorite Hillsong album since the classic United, "United We Stand" and "Look to You." I had given up on them -- and stopped purchasing -- because the albums without Marty Sampson became less dynamic and too much alike. I loved a few of Brooke Fraser's tunes, but otherwise nothing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Worship Album, October 14, 2013
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Live) (MP3 Music)
Another great album from Hillsong! I'm playing Glorious Ruins in church Sunday. I was singing along driving to work this morning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rising from the ruins, October 22, 2014
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This review is from: Glorious Ruins (Live) (MP3 Music)
I waited a couple of years to download this album because I didn't think I would like it. The song clips don't do it justice! When Amazon offered it for $6.99 this month, I decided to buy it since the price was right even if I only liked 1/2 of the songs.

I've owned the album for 3 days and am on my 4th listen. Best tracks are Where The Spirit of the Lord Is, Closer and Anchor.
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Glorious Ruins
Glorious Ruins by Hillsong (Audio CD - 2013)
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