Sound — 9
Hillsong has only been getting better and better with each yearly release. "Glorious Ruins" looks to be a landmark album for this generation. For those of you who don't know, Hillsong Music is the musical expression of the church and one of the main driving forces of worship being played in churches across the globe. Now that I've gotten that aside, let's get down to their sound as a band. A mix of driven keys, driving drum beats, supporting acoustic rhythm and light electric shimmering, this album is a mix of the classic Hillsong sound we've come to know and love as well as more experimental in the sense of style used in a congregational setting especially the presence of synths use.
Content — 9
The album is a first in the sense that they recorded it over 2 nights in 2 locations (Their home in Sydney as well as the Dominion Theatre in London). The title track has a theme of recurring electric riffs which ultimately becomes the instrumental trademark of the song. The overall build up of this gospel ballad of ruins coming to life will definitely be a main stay in congregations for years to come. The album as a whole is strong together as well as individually, to a pleasant surprise. Glorious Ruins has songs that work really well as a collective whole as well as just fine on their own. Examples such as the Easter hit "Man of Sorrows" as well as "Anthems You Never Fail," "Christ Is Enough" and "Anchor." The DVD also has 2 songs that were originally from Hillong United's "Zion" album that was also released earlier this year with a more congregation friendly arrangement. ("A Million Suns" was beautifully rearranged in my opinion. Definitely a classic.)
Production Quality — 8
Where presentation is concerned, Hillsong always carried a spirit of excellence. The daylight firework theme across the package is very well executed. The 2 disc set for the DVD and CD bundle is presented nicely as well as a lyric booklet displaying more fireworks. The entire package gels well and serves it's purpose to evoke the theme of glory. Packaging aside, the DVD was well executed with cuts between songs performed at different locations while keeping the audience engaged instead of United's trend of sharp cuts surprising or even shocking the viewer at hand. The transitions ease in, making the overall experience that much more enjoyable.
Overall Impression — 9
21 years of Hillsong and they just keep getting better and better. They've held their own among the charts as well as people's hearts all this time. (With no small part by Jesus, hallelujah). The overall package sells. The theme itself, "Glorious Ruins" and the use of daytime fireworks to emphasize on the glory found within the ruin was clever. Absolutely impressive. Genius. I would definitely replace my copy should anything happen (Bind that in Jesus' name). If I'm to give a final word on this album, it would be a question. Has Hillsong outdone themselves? I would definitely say they have with this one. To God be the Glory and the best is yet to be. We definitely have not heard the last from them. I hope you found this review helpful. Be blessed.