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"Born Is The King" Hillsong (Christmas) - CD Review

By Barry Westman on November 18, 2011

The team from Hillsong Music has done it again with the latest batch of Christmas music found on their Born Is The King which released this month.  This condensed collection of seven Christmas songs recorded by the Hillsong team has an organic, fresh and almost folk like sound.  The overall sound is very appealing, although it does not sound like any other Hillsong recording that this reviewer has heard.

Born Is The King contains many of your favorite Christmas carols such as “Joy To The World”, “We Three Kings”, “O Come Let Us Adore Him”, “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night”.  There are also two original Hillsong tunes, one that is a new arrangement of a previously released song and one that is brand new.  We first heard “Emmanuel”, written by Reuben Morgan, on the God He Reigns album.  For this updated version, they have changed the meter from 4/4 to 6/8 and added a slew of interesting instruments, dynamics and sounds.

The title track, “Born Is The King (It’s Christmas)”, is one of my favorites from the whole album! The sound of this track is infectious with a Gungor/Leeland-like driving, percussive tone and rhythmic lyrics.  You can’t help but tap your foot and sing along with this one, especially when the children’s choir comes in!

There are a few other standouts among the traditional carols, although none of them actually sound very traditional.  “We Three Kings” has a very cool vibe, with it’s The Civil Wars-like sound.  “O Come Let Us Adore Him” is another favorite, sometimes sounding like the traditional a capella candlelight carol, and then at other times sounding like a huge march-like processional from The Lion KingEach arrangement is well thought out, and very creative in its use of instruments, rhythms and layers.

Born Is The King gives these familiar carols a fresh, new creative approach, which is a joy to listen to but potentially challenging to put to use in a worship service, although the deluxe version of this digital download album does come with instrumental tracks and lyric chord charts.  This is definitely an album to get to add to your personal Christmas playlist!!

-Reviewed by Barry Westman

(Review copy provided by EMI)

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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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