Review: Phil Wickham – Children of God: Acoustic Sessions

philwickhamThose familiar with Phil Wickham and his Singalong sessions know that he doesn’t need much to captivate a crowd. Just a set of great songs, his stellar voice, and an acoustic guitar and the celebrated artist has the ability to draw an audience in and focus that energy vertically, bringing praise to the Father. Thus, it should come as no surprise that on the artist’s latest outing, Children of God: Acoustic Sessions, very little has changed.

Quite frankly, there are few artists who can capture a listener’s ear acoustically like Phil Wickham and that gift flows freely here. Placing the man, a melody, and his Maker together in a room geared toward worship is a perfect recipe for some amazing music and Wickham doesn’t disappoint as he delivers a stripped down rendering of his spring release, which includes three new songs.

Highlights are many and include album opener “Doxology/Amen,” which finds the familiar lyrics rich and poignant while “Your Love Awakens” follows suit, highlighting great lines like “There were walls between us/By the cross You came and broke them down/You broke them down/There were chains around us/By your grace we are no longer bound/No longer bound.” Madison Cunningham’s guest vocals bring a brightness to “Secret Place” as Wickham’s passion infuses “My All In All” with life and energy. Likewise, “Star Maker” is a track that begs to be brought to corporate worship and would no doubt bring the house down while “Spirit of God” showcases more of Wickham’s vocal range and ability to hold court with just an acoustic guitar.

And as those tracks, reimagined in their acoustic settings would be worth the price of admission, Wickham goes one better with his addition of the three new tracks. “Foot of the Cross” is an instant classic, teeming with powerful lyrics of worship, penned by Pete Kipley, like “Here my debts have all been paid/And here my sins are washed away/And here my soul has found its place/At the foot of the cross” that resonate with a deep hook that’s instantly singable and inviting, another that begs for widespread corporate worship. “Here With Me” delivers a sense of warm intimacy, Wickham singing of God’s faithfulness, as a medley of “Diving/Sailing/Time/Hymn” brings the record to its close in fine form, the artist leaving listeners with a profound sense of worship and hope.

There’s not much more to be said. Phil Wickham, armed with an acoustic guitar and a slew of great songs are a game plan that will never fail and it proves the same here. Packed with plenty of great guitar work, Wickham’s amazing voice, and powerful lyrics of intimate worship and praise, this album is a stirring listen.

 

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