There are great musicians and performers in the world of CCM Worship music, and then there are those who are artists. Phil Wickham definitely fits into the latter category. Wickham’s songwriting style and poetic flavor are well known around the world and his breathy yet intense vocal style makes him stand out from the crowd. His sixth studio release, Children Of God, features 12 new songs of inspiring worship with an electronic artistic flavor that is sure to appeal to a younger generation of worshippers.
The theme of the album centers on our need for God’s love and His heart for us as His adopted sons and daughters. Most of the arrangements of this new album sit within the dance/electronica/pop genre that is becoming more and more popular with younger Christians.
Phil’s version of the “Doxology” is uplifting and energetic and features some new lyrics while keeping the melodic integrity of the original. “The Secret Place” is a mid-tempo ballad showcasing the buttery, sweet voice of Madison Cunningham. This song is grounded in Psalm 84 and is a beautiful reminder we can be safe and secure when we run to the loving arms of Jesus and cast our cares on Him.
“Starmaker” is a moving song speaking of the awe and wonder of God as the One who birthed creation. Wickham’s syrupy vocals float above the warm pads and atmospheric instrumentation as he sings with passion and adoration to our amazing Creator.
The title track strangely doesn’t show itself until the 8th cut, and is an electronic powerhouse with driving bass and drum lines speaking of who we are as children of the King. Whickam’s vocal chops are on full display here as at one point in the song his vocals soar into the stratosphere where no normal man should be able to go.
“As It Is In Heaven” is a humble cry out to God to take His place on the throne of our hearts as we lay down our pride and invite Him in as a response to what He has done for us. I really appreciated how Whickam used the Lord’s Prayer throughout this song, but the arrangement seemed a bit out of place for me.
Overall, this was a nice collection of songs, most of which could be used for your Sunday morning worship experience. The writing was, overall, pretty good and Wickham managed to stay clear of too many Christian worship clichés while keeping most songs memorable. The arrangements were a bit overdone I thought, and would be very difficult to emulate.