I’m not usually one who likes to listen to contemporary worship music but for some reason Phil Wickham always hits the sweet spot for me. Maybe it’s the catchy tunes or possibly the truth filled lyrics, but whatever he’s doing just plain works. So if you are hesitant to invest your time into a worship album because it’s usually isn’t your style, I would encourage you to give Hymn of Heaven a chance.
“Battle Belongs” was the first song I heard off this album and my first time hearing it was at church service Sunday morning. I quickly went home and turned to the Internet to hear it again and look at its lyrics. It’s one of those songs that just gets me pumped up and has recently found its way on to my “right now” playlist of favorite tunes. I’m a sucker for that subtle guitar and drum progression that really gets your head moving and your hands clapping. I also love the nod to the fact that every single day of our lives is a battle, if not physically, definitely spiritually, and the important role prayer plays on the battlefield. We have to give our struggles to God and also ask for His protection over the temptations of sin and I absolutely love the image of getting down on our knees handing it all over to God that this song paints for us because truly, “nothing can stand against the power of our God.”
I like the message behind “Where I’m Standing Now” because it nudges us to reflect on where our choice to follow Jesus has brought us. I feel like a lot of us tend to live in the past with all of our pain, mistakes, regret and negativity instead of truly handing it all over to God and allowing Him to cleanse us from the past. The perspective to look above instead of back is one that I think many will welcome. I also really enjoy the different vocals brought to the song by Brandon Lake being featured. It adds some variety and nice harmonies. The key takeaway is to cling firmly to the truth that “[we] stand on the chain breaking miracle making powerful name of Jesus”
I really enjoy listening to “Reason I Sing” because it brings our focus back to the why behind everything we do. It reminds us of everything God has graciously done for us out of his unconditional love. I think we so often get caught up in the push and pull on our time and attention day in and day out that we forget how abundantly blessed we really are. I don’t know how you could be in a bad mood after listening to a song highlighting all the good things that have been given to us and the even better things with “the promise of heaven waiting for [us]” through his “victory [he] won over death and the grave.” It also features an uplifting melody easy to hum or tap along with that carries through the song.
My one issue with this album is the song “316 (Spontaneous)” because I feel like it’s not necessary, nor does it really add anything to the album as a whole. Maybe because I’m not an artist or musically talented, but I don’t understand this free-style sort of piece, but in my opinion it takes away from the powerful messages from the rest of the album.
I love how worship albums have evolved in more recent years. No longer can we only praise God with just piano and old English, but with a wide variety of joyful noises, including those found throughout Hymn of Heaven. I ended this album feeling rejuvenated and with a renewed sense of awe and wonder for our Heavenly Father. If you’re looking for something to help you fix your eyes on Jesus and remind you of the good news we have in Christ wrapped up with uplifting melodies and catchy beats, I believe Hymn of Heaven would be a great resource for you.
Released: June 25, 2021
Label: Fairtrade Services
Battle Belongs (4:47)
Hymn Of Heaven (4:27)
House Of The Lord (4:16)
It’s Always Been You (4:01)
Where I’m Standing Now (feat. Brandon Lake) (4:30)