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"A Beautiful Exchange" - Hillsong CD Review

By Barry Westman on July 08, 2010

I always wait with great anticipation for the next release from Hillsong Live, hoping to find at least a few gems that I can use with our teams at church. After listening to their latest release, “A Beautiful Exchange”, I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed, and there are several songs that I can’t wait to incorporate at church. Beyond that, as I sat and listened to the entire project from beginning to end with just me and my headphones, I was ushered into a time of worship right there in my living room.  Thank you Hillsong, once again, for giving us such great tools to use in the church to lift His name on high!

Here is the complete track number, title and songwriter list:

1. “Our God Is Love” (Joel Houston, Scott Ligertwood)

2. “Open My Eyes” (Reuben Morgan, Braden Lang)

3. “Forever Reign” (Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram)

4. “The One Who Saves” (Ben Fielding)

5. “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step” (Brooke Ligertwood, Rich Mullins, David Strasser)

6. “Greatness Of Our God” (Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram, Stu Garrard)

7. “The Father’s Heart” (Gio Galanti, Jorim Kelly)

8. “You” (Joel Houston)

9. “Love Like Fire” (Matt Crocker)

10. “Believe” (Reuben Morgan, Darlene Zschech)

11. “Beautiful Exchange” (Joel Houston)

12. “Thank You” (Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan)

13. “Forever Reign (Radio Version)” (Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram)

The album opens with “Our God is Love”, a great call to worship written by Joel Houston, who was featured recently on our podcast, and “Open My Eyes”, an upbeat, vertical prayer for God to open our eyes and let us see all the wonders and power of His name.

Then comes my favorite track of the entire project, “Forever Reign”, a soaring anthem of praise.  While the verses declare who God is: “You are good, You are good, when there’s nothing good in me…”, the chorus is vertical: “Oh, I’m running to Your arms, the riches of Your love will always be enough”.  You may already be familiar with this song, though, as it was recently released by One Sonic Society on their 5 track EP.  Reuben Morgan teamed up with Jason Ingram, a member of OSS, to co-write this song (along with “The Greatness of Our God”, another title on this CD).

You can watch and listen to “Forever Reign” below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au3EGgISYMc

This CD was not without its surprises. As I was listening to “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step”, all of a sudden I said – hey, I know that song! This song takes the very familiar chorus “Sometimes By Step” by Rich Mullins and pairs it with some rich new verses by Brooke Ligertwood. There’s the other surprise – as I was listening to this song, I was sure I heard Brooke Fraser’s distinct, beautiful voice, but the credits said Brooke Ligertwood. Now I was confused… Until I did a bit of research and discovered that Brooke married Hillsong member Scott Ligertwood recently and has changed her name.  Needless to say, regardless of her name, Brooke has done a wonderful job pairing these two songs into a seamless flow, and has once again brought this powerful anthem for the church to a whole new generation.

Other songs that are on my shortlist include “Love Like Fire”, a song of surrender to God’s love; “A Beautiful Exchange”, a story of salvation; and “Thank You”, thinking ahead to Thanksgiving. Those are just a few standouts for me, but the entire album is filled with great songs for the church to sing. If you’re a fan of Hillsong, then you’ll definitely want to make sure to add this CD to your collection!

Barry Westman

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Barry Westman

Barry Westman

Barry has served in worship ministry for 20 years, currently serving as Worship Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Minnesota, husband to Tina, and father to three beautiful children - Chad, Emily and Olivia. He usually leads worship from the keyboard and loves to play board games!

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