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Music Review: Hands High by Equippers Revolution

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Updated February 12, 2018
Music Review: Hands High by Equippers Revolution

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Track Listing

Hands High
Here With Me
My Heart Is Open
You Won't Let Go
Let You In
Better With You

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Equippers Revolution is the sound of the Revolution Youth Movement, and a musical expression of Equippers Church. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, it’s core members have grown up in the church, and have been a part of the youth worship team for over 10 years.

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Hands High by Equippers Revolution
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Australia has had it's fair share of big church worship and youth worship, so now it's the chance for the New Zealanders with their youth worship team at Equippers Church from Auckland. On their website the church describes "The Revolution" as; "a movement of young people from all around New Zealand who are committed to being ready, resourceful and responsive." It goes on to declare "we want to see revolutionary impact in the world we live." This movement includes encouraging prayer at school gates, summer camps, Uprising events and of course the Equippers Revolution band, the very people behind this album!

From the start this album is one that would sit alongside Hillsong Young and Free, but would at the same time be shuffling to get closer to the likes of LED? or LZ7. It's one of those praise albums aimed at the youth the movement serves and needs to be played at high volume. It's also pretty much impossible to stay still while listening to it, even for those of us who are a little...ahem...older! The first track is straight to the dance floor with "Hands High" which is also the title track. It's not a song of huge depth and is just about praising God, as they explained in an article, Why "Hands High"? They say it's a universal sign for making a statement, a statement of praise. No matter what is going on in your life we are called to praise God and an outward sign of this is to lift our hands in the air in worship.

As is the nature of this style of dance music, some of the lyrics and backing can be rather repetitive. This is the case with "Heartbeat" which is a song of dedication. "When You're Here With Me" is a song that uses a variety of instrumental sounds in the middle, but talks of the gravity pull to experience God and then to respond in worship. "Wild" is an interesting concept, especially to those of us who are older, talking about living wild and following the call of God. It declares it's "safe to live wild", which is something us older people forget sometimes, we live comfortable, we live with responsibilities, but a young person sold-out for Christ can live wild, take up a challenge, and listen and be eager to go where God sends! "My Heart Is Open" has got some surprising depth to the lyrics as the worshipper cries out for God's love. The short repeated bridge is absolutely beautiful as it declares " Your love has made a home / Inside these bones / I'm not alone anymore"

The pace drops back a bit to something a lot more ambient and reflective "You Won't Let Go". This is definitely a chance to take a break from the high-energy tracks and reflect on the image of Christ on the cross with love for us in His mind. This is actually the first reference to Jesus or God directly, but up to now there has been no ambiguity that these songs are about God's love and our reaction to it. This song is an absolutely beautiful track which leaves us at the cross with no fear that we can experience the grace and love of God because of that moment.

"Fortress" reminds us where our security is, before the slower tracks continue with "Let You In". This is about surrendering all those things that are in our heart to God, letting Him into those areas that we keep private, the hurts and scars included. "Still" is about taking time to tune into God's voice, if we are going to know more of God, or live "Wild" then we need to get to know the voice of God in our lives. That means we might have to cut out the other distractions in our lives. This track has quite a funky feel which is a nice change to the early dance tunes, definitely something a little different and I like that. "Motions" feels like it is building back up to a big finish for the album, although it does have the idea of not just living and going through the motions, and not just being ruled by things in your emotions, but finding something real in life. "Better With You" is the final track and it's a return towards the high-energy start, reminding us of how life will only get better with God. This is a hard song to sing when you are going through a hard time, but I think that is the point, that ultimately no matter what we go through, God is working His purpose in us, so our trust is that life is better with God.

Overall this is a great album. Dance songs and the way that things are looped and lyrics are repeated can be an acquired taste, but I really enjoyed this album. It's positive and a lot of fun, but at the same time it acknowledges that, even for teenagers, life is not all sunshine and roses, but there are hard things that have to be faced too. The encouragement here is that even though life can be hard we still praise God through it, it's a lesson that, speaking for myself, I wish that I had learned earlier in my life! I think this works well as a whole album, I fear that as music and dance trends move on it will sound dated relatively quickly, but for now it's right there. If you have young people who enjoy this kind of music and are looking for something positive to encourage their worship then this is a must buy!

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