Album review for “Heaven and Earth” by Phil Wickham

            As far as praise and worship artists go, Phil Wickham stands apart from the usual suspects: generic and cliché efforts which eventually fall victim to repetitiveness. Wickham, in contrast, combines smart and creative lyrics with musical depth and integrity. His successful sophomore album “Cannons” was only a precursor to the highly imaginative and stunning “Heaven and Earth,” Wickham’s latest piece of work. The record begins with the electro-pop “Eden” and paints a beautiful picture of a relationship with God untainted by the effects of sin. Following this are “Coming Alive” and the title track, which are worshipful and moving standouts on the album. Wickham is a master at musical composition and “The Time is Now” is a perfect example of this, laced with many elements such as a banjo and strings. “Hold On” begins with a fun techno beat and has an electric guitar stream in and add some edge to a single-ready and radio-friendly tune. “Safe” is perhaps the most subdued (and lyrically and musically “safe”) of the bunch. Bart Millard of Mercy Me lends his vocals to this song which proclaims, “The hands that hold the universe are holding your heart.” I’ll Always Love You,” “Because of Your Love” and “Cielo” are gems which showcase Wickham’s knack for writing impactful hymns which sing honest praise to our Creator. The closing track “Heaven Song” is simple, yet could easily be the best on the album. It embodies everything Phil Wickham is: an artist who has an honest and searching heart for God.

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