The sneaky musical elitist in me doesn’t like to heap unequivocal praise on such a ubiquitous commercial and mainstream church powerhouse, but in this case, credit is more than due.
Without question, Hillsong United is on a roll. Their new album is fantastic. There are so many congregationally friendly songs, musical excellence and Brooke Frasers all-around hotness. (She makes me want to wear scarfs when I lead worship now.) The song that is going to be HUGE for a long time:
Here are some of the reasons why I think “The Desert Song” works well as a worship song and will be sung in churches for a long time to come.
- Its mid-tempo: Mid-tempo CCM worship songs always have the most tractions, though white people tend to sing them to fast and Asians tend to sing them to slow (Its sometimes in Black Gospel contexts where hte artists find a happy medium Micah Stampley, Donnie McClurkin for examples). Cases in point: Here I am to Worship, Mighty to Save, Blessed Be Your Name, Shine Jesus Shine, Lord I Lift Your Name on hight. Mid-tempo worship songs can go a long way with both congregational and commercial success (They are related) because they are easy to sing, easy to listen to.
- The chord progression, groove and vocal styles are sufficiently emo but not depressing and still ebbs into a somewhat triumphant and mildly celebratory song. The ANGSTINESS of the verses will no doubt connect with young suburban white churched teenagers and the journey of suffering and struggle will speak to the Asians– two powerful blocs in the American CCM culture.
- Jill McCloghry – she is a rising star. Keep Darlene as far away from these ladies as possible. The way she sings the second verse is perfect. Listen to how she says “fire” in the first line of the 2nd verse. Do you hear the emotion oozing from her voice? I’m impressed.
- The obvious reason, Brooke Fraser. She is fantastic. Her voice is husky, attractive, but not distractingly amazing (or at least she doesn’t show it). I think she brings a really unique pop sensibility to Hillsong worship in an indutstry that can really quickly get cut-and-dry, formulaic and dry. Thank God for her expereince outside of the Christian music industry. They were doing a great job before she got there, granted, coming out with some great worship songs… but I think since Brooke came out with Hosanna, You’ll Come and now Desert Song, I think they’ve taken their collective game to another level.
Anyways, I’m just blessed by this song. It speaks to this angsty, suffering-loving Korean and I’m not ashamed to say it!
Here are the lyrics, worship and enjoy!!!
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame
I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow