Phil Wickham - Response
Last modified: 17 Oct 2011
is the fourth album from Phil Wickham
. After selling a quarter of a million albums and over a half million song downloads, worship leader Phil Wickham has become a household name. Phil is best known for his tracks Cannons
and You're Beautiful
which seem to have captured the world wide church's imagination of how and what they want to say to God in worship. Great songs, but for me it was Phil's previous album Heaven & Earth
where we get to hear the raw songwriting talent that he has. During this album you could hear the creative way that Phil wanted to explain who God is, but without using the over used phrases that can sometimes occur in 'worship' songs. Phil, in a fresh way, said to the world let's use creative lyrics and new ways of saying 'God You are Amazing'. The big questions is, does Response come close to that very high bar?
The album opens with Heaven Fall Down
, which has a distinctive U2 guitar riff and sound to it. Saying a song sounds like U2 can been seen as an insult in some parts, but don't let this put you off. For me this Phil Wickham album does tend to sound similar to the last U2 album No Line On The Horizon
Second track Joy
has an 80's synth start to it, with its slow drum beat tempo leading the vocals, with the brilliant tone of Phil's voice singing out praise to God complimenting the music very well. I'm not sure what I make of the chorus, there is a simplicity to it, but I'm not sure if the slowness of the tempo puts me off a little bit. But at least Phil isn't just expecting loud crashing guitars to carry the song forward and is trying a few different things.
Making an appearance on the album is At Your Name (Yahweh Yahweh)
, the title might be familiar to some as the track from the Tim Hughes album, and you would be right, this song was co-written by Tim and Phil with both deciding to use on their respective albums. I love the song, so no complaint from me. At Your Name
is very similar to the worship central and Tim Hughes album versions, with rousing guitars building the chorus into a crescendo of praise. Phil sings "Lord of all the earth we'll shout Your name, shout Your name, Filling up the skies with endless praise, endless praise"
. Great lyrics and a stunning song.
What I have found with this album is there is a general tempo to the album. I wouldn't go as far as saying a few of the songs are middle of the road, but a lot of the songs are on the more gentle tempo side. Sun & Moon
, All I Am
and All I Want Is You
all fall into this category. That's not a negative comment, as actually some of these are my favorite tracks off the album, yet Phil has gone for a few more somber reflexive tracks than the more uplifting rising songs than one might expect.
To summarise, this is a very good album. Great creative songs, great voice and great expressions of praise to God (a few too many great's there maybe). But there is something that's stopping me saying this is an outstanding album. What that is, I'm not sure. But when you hear it, you just know, and on this album I don't always hear it. But overall this is a good, and I'll even use that word again, a great album. Maybe given time this will grow on me more, but for now I am more than willing to express that you should check this out and actually make up your own mind.
Review by Jono Davies
At Your Name
All I Want Is You