Hillsong Live frequently proclaims the transforming power of Christ, and listeners will once again encounter that on the group’s newest release, Glorious Ruins. The phrase refers to the concept that God can breathe new life into the ashes of destruction. The title track highlights that concept with lyrics such as “Let the ruins come to life/In the beauty of Your name/Rising up from the ashes/God forever You reign.”
The new project, which features 12 new songs (14 on the deluxe edition) written by team members Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker, is a melodic mix of modern pop rock recorded at two Hillsong churches in London and Sydney.
There are high-energy anthems, such as “You Never Fail” and “Where the Spirit of the Lord Is,” as well as stripped-down acoustic ballads such as “To Be Like You.” The album opens with the pop rock sounds of “Always Will” and ends with the affecting praise of “Anchor.” The modern hymn hybrid “Man of Sorrows” is already making the rounds in churches around the globe.
In what may be a first for the group, Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston delivers a lively half-hour sermon at the end of the project’s deluxe edition on the album’s concept. It’s a fitting reminder that not only are the songs on the project written with the church in mind, but that the ministry behind Hillsong Live is created and nurtured out of local churches.