Empires is Hillsong United’s fourth studio album. Like the rise and fall of worldly empires, so do the dynamics of the songs contained in the album. Most of the songs are slow and more reflective in nature. There is only one upbeat, if that, song on the whole album and that is Rule which has somewhat of a club feel to it. Most of the songs in the album start off with sparse verses and build in terms of instrumentation and volume. Verses dynamically contrast choruses which may contrast bridges. There are also spots of musical space between sections of a couple of songs for reflection, interpretation, and spontaneity. Musical riffs are repetitive throughout the songs which gives a sense of consistency through the changing dynamics of each song. The Empires album leaves you reflective and wanting.
Touch The Sky was the first single released and first presented during the Vision 2015 presentation of Hillsong Church in February. It was later performed on the Today Show. The song was written after a study of The Beatitudes (Matthew 5). Prince of Peace and Heart Like Heaven followed shortly after before the release of the album. Each worship leader represented in Hillsong United is featured on one or two songs on the album.
Hillsong United features a good number of Hillsong’s main songwriters and worship leaders. They write many of the songs churches sing in worship today. Hillsong United was formed back in the 1990s as the youth band for Hillsong Church. Each month, the Junior and Senior High groups would get together for a “united” night. Later, the youth groups would hold an annual conference where the live album recordings were created.
When our family visited Hillsong Church’s main Hills Campus on March 1st, JD (from Hillsong United) was leading worship that particular Sunday. The second picture you see below is from our March 1st visit.
I got a chance to listen in on a phone chat with Taya Smith last week. Some fellow FlyBy bloggers join in for a Twitter party. It was fun to hear how the album came together, and Taya shared some wisdom with us about worship. Below are some (paraphrased) snippets of what she shared, and I made a little Storify thingie of what we tweeted through the conversation.
If we are pouring out but not being filled up, we need to stop and spend time with Him.
Have people who can journey with you, especially someone a little further ahead of you, and allow them to pull you up when you are down.
A few tweets:
— Taya Smith (@taya_smith) May 21, 2015
One lucky reader will receive a copy of the album Empires. Giveaway ends Friday, June 5th. (If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)
For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about your favorite album or song, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the album, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”