Album Review :
Phil Wickham - Singalong 2

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Artist: Phil Wickham
Title: Singalong 2
Label: Fair Trade Services
Release Date: 5/15/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre


  1. Heaven Fall Down
  2. At Your Name
  3. I’ll Always Love You
  4. You’re Beautiful
  5. The Victory
  6. Wonderful
  7. Sun & Moon
  8. Spirit Of The Living God
  9. Spring Up Oh Well
  10. I Surrender All
  11. All I Am
  12. Cielo
  13. Heaven Song
  14. We Give You All The Glory

What can I say about Phil Wickham? A well respected singer-songwriter that has written songs like ‘Safe’, ‘After Your Heart’, ‘Grace’ and ‘You’re Beautiful’, Phil keeps the ‘singalong-tradition’ after his ever-successful acoustic album made in 2008, ‘Singalong’, which was given away for free on his website, incorporating songs and hits from his first 2 albums. Now in 2012, Phil has produced a sequel in the ‘singalong’ series, singing some of his favourites from his last two acclaimed albums, ‘Response’ and ‘Heaven and Earth’. With just his acoustic guitar and the crowd, this intimate collection has furthered my appreciation for Phil and his songwriting ability, while also leading me to listen more to his ‘Heaven on Earth’ album, leading me to conclude him being one of the most ingenious and gifted Christian songwriters today.

The album starts off with the joyous ‘Heaven Fall Down’, and what kind of start it is. As Phil sings out the chorus across the claps in the crowd, ‘…Heaven, Heaven fall down, Spirit, Spirit pour out, on us all now, heaven fall down…’ I am instantly transported into a place of worship. Crowd engagement is also a plus in this album, with Phil encouraging the crowd to participate wherever possible, and why wouldn’t you just simply worship with such a gifted musician? Asking the Lord to come reign in our hearts is a major theme in this album, as we understand who He is, and worship out of the place of pure love for our Father. ‘At Your Name’ follows, co-written by British singer-songwriter Tim Hughes. The simple lyric ‘…Lord of all the earth, we shout your name…filling up the skies with endless praise…’ is as effective as ever, as Phil takes us on a journey of discovery as we cry out the name of the Lord. Timeless hymn ‘I Surrender All’ sneaks its way into the lineup, with Phil singing the chorus over and over with pure abandon, the crowd joining in with his hauntingly refreshing vocals as everyone proclaims ‘…I surrender all, all to thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’ Phil’s most popular song, ‘You’re Beautiful’, recently covered by MercyMe on their covers worship record, The Worship Sessions, is the only double-up on both Singalong albums. A nice addition to a very strong set-list, ‘You’re Beautiful’ showcases some of Phil’s best lyrical moments as he sings out ‘…I see your face is every sunrise, the colours of the morning are inside your eyes, the world awakens in the light of the day, I look up to the skies and say, “You’re beautiful”…’ With just his acoustic guitar and the rawness of a live setting, his vocals are highlighted all the more, creating a more authentic worship audience as the crowd inside the track and the listener of the song worshipping the God who is indeed beautiful.

Phil also was able to debut a new song on the night, with ‘Wonderful’ showing some of the most poignant lyrics Phil has written since ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Safe’. ‘Wonderful’ starts off with an acoustic guitar riff as Phil sings out ‘…I can see you in the light of a new dawn, I can hear you in the words of a love song, I know it in my heart, I know it in my soul, you’re wonderful…’ Proclaiming that the Lord is the most high, it is through the creation around us, and the circumstances that occur in our lives that we know are God-breathed, that we can testify that God is real, working for us, and showing the world His glory and fame. What a fantastic song, and a potential single for his new studio album. And why not, when Phil sings in the chorus ‘…oh, you are wonderful, and what else can my soul sing, all your hands have made, everything you’ve done, oh my God you’re wonderful…’, with the crowd singing out towards the end of the song. Favourites from Response ‘Sun and Moon’, ‘The Victory’ and ‘All I Am’ all are present on this list of worshipful moments and certainly deserve their place. With poignant lyrics throughout all these tracks, ‘…God I wanna let You know, I want everything You are, I’m waiting for the morning light, to show a fire in the dark…’ (‘Sun and Moon’), ‘…wrapped and bound, they laid You down, a perfect sacrifice, but in three days, the stone was rolled away, forever You’re alive…’ (‘The Victory’), ‘…take these hands, I know they’re empty, but with You they can be used for beauty in Your perfect plan, all I am is Yours…’ (‘All I Am’); all these three melodies shine in the live environment, with the lyrical moments more passionate and worshipful as the crowd joins in with Phil, creating a sense of total abandon as everyone sings out to God in adoration.

Despite the gold within the original songs and the representative songs from Response, it was the songs representative from Heaven and Earth that drew me to this album. ‘Heaven Song’ is an anticipation of things to come, knowing that when Jesus comes back, we will be ready and excited for the time when we’ll spend eternity with the God who saved our souls. Judging from the chorus, ‘…I want to run on greener pastures, I want to dance on higher hills, I want to drink from sweeter waters in the misty morning chill, and my soul is getting restless for the place where I belong, I can’t wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song…’, it seems clear that Phil can’t wait for heaven, and the crowd can’t either as they sing along with him across the hard and passionate strumming of the acoustic guitar; both yearning and longing for when Christ comes for His bride. ‘Cielo’, the second last song on Heaven on Earth before ‘Heaven Song’; is sung on Singalong 2 about the time when Christ comes. Phil proclaims that ‘…I can’t sing loud enough… I can’t bow low enough… I can’t lift my hands high enough…’ when he is in the presence of the Lord, creating one of the most passionate songs on the album. There is a sense of Phil’s urgency as he calls the congregation to worship God with a spontaneous lyrical moment ‘…every eye will see, every knee will bow, every tongue confess that You are Lord…’ But the real gem out of the Heaven and Earth crop is in it’s underappreciated ‘I’ll Always Love You’. Though it wasn’t a single on Heaven and Earth, Phil sings his heart out with just his acoustic guitar, encouraging the audience to ‘…scream until it hurts, that I can’t live without You, You are Heaven, I am Earth, and even from the moment that You saved my life I knew that I’ll always love You…’ What a fantastic way to portray our love for Him; that we would even scream til our voices hurt, than to not speak and share to others our new-found love for the God of creation. A fantastic song by a fantastic songwriter!

Overall: Phil Wickham has released an album that his simple in it’s musical direction, yet one of the most profound of the year. With Phil finishing the album with the chorus ‘O Come Let Us Adore Him’ is very fitting, as the congregation takes over to sing the last moments of the concert. Downloaded free on his website, this is an album that you don’t want to miss! Well done Phil for your intimate worshipful night!

RIYL: Leeland, Paul Baloche, Matt Hammitt, Chris Tomlin

You can download for free from his website