3AM Eternal

3 AM Eternal: Hillsong United: The White Album Project (2014)

Though we here at The Recoup are loathe to include contemporary music, in the spirit of this month’s theme, we would be remiss to not include this recent example of a fine record that was completely misunderstood with its fanbase.

It is easy to understand why; the Australian mega-church Hillsong has built itself an international brand, especially in terms of praise and worship music. In 2013, they released Zion, a bestselling album that propelled the band into a more mainstream light, all the while focusing their sound in a more spiritual (read 4AD/ethereal way) direction. It’s a stunning record, even for those believers like yours truly who has never had any time for “Christian Rock.” I recommend the amazing epic “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), which was my introduction to the group.

But back to The White Album project. It was a simple concept: ask friends to remix Zion, and release the album on Record Store Day, while also releasing it digitally. They did–and the backlash was quick and sudden. Musically, it’s an interesting take on an already impressive album, even if it’s not that essential.

But many fans who were already skeptical of Zion and the direction that album took saw this as the continuing betrayal of their fanbase. Here’s a wonderful example taken from the Youtube page to the video above:

WHAT IS THIS? you young generation need to know the true meaning of worship. This is nothing more than a club mix for pot heads like this wicked generation. What does the scripture say??? Do you guys even open up the word of God? It says to worship in Spirit and in Truth. Wicked generation need constant stimulation to know God is near. Woe to you that take evil for good and good for evil!

Well, then! I can’t follow that.

It’s hard to deny how compelling this project is, and it’s equally hard to fathom the vitriol this obscure little release has received. We’ll let you decide on whether or not this music is evil.

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