It’s been two years since California native song-writer and well known worship leader, Phil Wickham has blessed the church with new music. His signature falsetto and youthful sound have birthed such church favorites as “This is Amazing Grace,” “Doxology (Amen”),” and “Your Love Awakens Me.” Living Hope is Wickham’s seventh full-length studio project, and the first to be co-written with nineteen other worship writers from around the world.
The thirteen track collection is being heralded as Wickham’s most congregationally friendly release to date. Musically, Living Hope continues to follow the trend of anthemic, EDM laced pop that, sadly, is becoming somewhat overdone as the CCM worship world continues to find a unique voice. Thankfully this collection features a few songs that jump out and capture the worshippers heart as Wickham’s striking tenor and delivery keeps this album from drowning in a sea of overdone mediocrity.
The best song on the album is the title track, which was co-written with Bethel’s Brian Johnson, and not only serves as a systemic narration of the Gospel, but is highlighted by a melody that is simple enough for a congregation with an array of musical backgrounds to latch onto immediately.
“Boundless,” “Tethered,” and “Eyes Fixed” use wonderfully written word pictures to communicate God’s love and mercy, yet were hampered with their somewhat cookie-cutter arrangements and overused Christian clichés.
“How Great Is Your Love” was co-penned with Kristian Stanfill, and although the title has been done over and over again, this is a powerful examination of the saving power of the cross in one of the better written songs on the album.
This wasn’t my favorite Wickham album, but it does have a bunch of nice moments and songs that your congregation should be singing. I was a bit disappointed in what I personally perceived as a bit more lyrical laziness this time around from Wickham. I honestly expected more, but this album is still worth a listen.