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Cornerstone (CD and DVD)

Hillsong Music Australia


RRP $39.95

Reviewed by Rev David MacGregor.

"CORNERSTONE" is the latest CD/DVD package in a near-yearly succession of contemporary live worship-music releases from Hillsong Church dating back to the late 1980s.

Over this time, although occasionally using Hillsong material in worship, I've had reservations about a lack of inclusive language and clear mission-related titles, a seeming focus on the event and presentation in themselves, and the difficulties with using the material easily in a local church context.

I also found the previous 2011 release disappointing – few catchy tunes or strong lyrics.

It took a couple of listens before I found myself quite surprised to be taking a shine to this CD/DVD.

Tracks like the energetic "Praise Him" would work well in a moshpit or with a super-skilled, overflowing music team.

And the DVD subtitles option is a plus!

"Cornerstone" features superb singing, instrumentation and arrangements, with most songs focusing on worshipping the crucified Christ and celebrating God's saving grace.

Several songs are well suited to local church usage.

Songwriting is shared between the trusted Hillsong creative stable and such world-respected writers as Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin.

The title track is the best of all, drawing on the classic hymn, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness".

In a creative twist, the inspirational chorus, alluding to Ephesians 2:20, declares:

Christ alone, cornerstone,

Weak made strong in the Saviour's love

Through the storm, he is Lord, Lord of all.

An attractive feature of the collection is the inclusion of some simple, quieter songs such as "All My Hope" and "I Desire Jesus".

Alongside these is the upbeat "Running", drawing no doubt on Philippians 3, with lots of communal "we" language!