No Other Name, Hillsong’s latest annual worship release lifts high the name of Jesus. It draws from numerous team writers (Jonas Myrin, Joel Houston, Ben Fielding, Matt Crocker, Sam Knock, Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood, Marty Sampson, Hannah Hobbs, Dean Ussher, Jarrad Rogers) and features an array of lead worshipers (Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding, Annie Garrat, Jad Gillies, David Ware, Jay Cook, Joel Houston, Matt Crocker, Taya Smith, Hannah Hobbs and Marty Sampson, among others).
The album’s opening track “This I Believe (The Creed),” announces a commitment to Scripture and the gospel as the name of Jesus is proclaimed with clarity and power. Not only has the Church been gifted with a Creed for our times, but No Other Name delivers a resplendent and ascendant “Our Father,” as well. “Depths” has the retro feel and gentle, yet powerful beauty of a classic Vineyard song, as does “Calvary.” The intimate prayerful “Thank You Jesus” echoes the flavor and passion of Bethel/Jesus Culture. It is interesting to see the cross-pollination of worship movements. No Other Name echoes the Church’s worship around the world and is an invaluable resource for churches because of its adaptability to different settings, tempos and styles, but most of all because of its biblical and historical resonance. Scriptural themes are richly developed and interwoven, as heard on songs such as “All Things New” and “Mountain.” In the former, God’s renewal of us personally now and in creation as time unfolds is linked to the faith based on God’s Word rather than what is seen, while “Mountain,” explores Christ the rock, the stone the builders rejected, the foundation—his love a mountain—and our relationship to him as living stones.
What is especially delightful about this Jesus-centric release is the array of ways our savior is described and worshiped in his earthly incarnation and heavenly reign and ministry. And with songs such as “This I Believe (The Creed)” and “Our Father,” it keeps it Trinitarian.
The gentle and dreamy ascent to powerful proclamation on “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)” sung by Taya Smith—who fronted “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” on Zion—reimagines and appropriates pieces of the classic hymn into an all new setting that connects God’s transforming grace with our great need.
All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
Lyrics to the title track are inspired and inspiring, but multiple changes in tempo, lack of strong melodic hook, and arrangement may somewhat dampen its impact congregationally. All in all, grateful thanks to Hillsong for their openness to Spirit-led experimentation in the present, and ability to successfully implement the past—and for raising the bar on themselves and others lyrically, scripturally, musically, and conceptually.
Sounds Like: A blend of prominent worship movement music past/present (and future) with mainstream pop/rock intonations: Hillsong (of course), Passion, Vineyard, Bethel/Jesus Culture. Fresh, dimensional, theme development and production, sensitive arrangement of synthy sweeps, pads/piano/modern guitar/bass/drums/loops etc. Even bigger, bolder, more percussive and anthemic songs have an element of graceful beauty and rest.
Most Singable: “Thank You Lord,” “Calvary” “
Strongest Biblical Content (all songs saturated with Scripture) “Our Father” (Mt 6:9-11; Lk 11:1-4)
The Whole Package: “This I Believe (The Creed)” “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)”
Resources available: 5 Disc complete Worship Kit, or individual resources including CD, Digital sheet music, digital mp3 trax, Digital instrumental parts, and paper music book @ hillsong.com, plus YouTube videos, lyrics and chords at various sites, plus a deluxe edition of the album with remixes and additional tracks.