Hillsong Young & Free is the latest group to emerge from Hillsong Church, the Australian megachurch that spawned "Shout to the Lord" and Hillsong United, the popular, twenty-something praise rockers. The thing is, very few, if any, in Hillsong United are still twenty-somethings, so Hillsong Young & Free are here to take the mantle. That's where the overlap begins and ends. The band's debut, We Are Young & Free: Live, has very little in common with past youthful offerings from down under. Instead, this is one big Jesus rave, replete with pulsating beats, blaring synths, and soaring choruses -- the mind fills in the laser show and smoke machines. Things take a contemplative turn as the concert forges on, but the rhythm doesn't let up -- it just gets a little slower as the atmospherics kick in. We Are Young & Free represents the same "funneled" liturgy Hillsong enthusiasts have come to expect time and again, except encased in the EDM shell so popular with the kids circa the early 2010s. Hillsong matriarch Darlene Zschech would approve, and maybe even dance along.
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AllMusic Review by Andree Farias