Music Review: The Ascension by Phil Wickham



Today, Phil Wickham released his newest studio album The Ascension. This 11 track worship album is just packed with great music. If you have enjoyed his previous albums, you will enjoy this as well. Stylistically is has the feel of his previous album Cannons with a little of the Synth from Heaven and Earth thrown in just to remind you he can.

The Ascension begins with the titular track, an acoustic driven folk-rock tune that really let’s Phil’s distinctive vocals soar. In the Bible there were songs of Ascent in the psalms. They were psalms which at their heart and core were meant to cause the spirit to soar, and the heart to focus in on The Lord and the higher things of Heaven as opposed to earthen troubles. This song is exactly that. It is about climbing the Hill of the Lord to rest in His presence and experience His Glory.

Holy Light really gives you the synth vibe of Heaven and Earth, but in a fresh new way. With Phil’s signature acoustic style layered over the synth, and the vocal harmonies that build into the driven chorus. This is a high energy song that asks Christ to flood the earth with His holy Light.

One of the songs that you will likely recognize is This is Amazing Grace which was co-written with Jeremy Riddle and recorded on the Bethel Live album For The Sake of the World. Phil’s version has more of a smooth synth driven tone which allows it to sound fresh and give a solid contrast from the Bethel version.

The song that most affected me on this album is When My Heart is Torn Asunder. This song talks of God’s goodness in the midst of hardship, struggles, and sufferings. It is a very poignant song that reminds me of some of King David’s Laments from the book of Psalms. But I love the key line in the song, “My body might be dying, but I’ll always be alive.” It keeps the focus on the redeeming blood of Christ.

This album has all the unmistakable touches of Phil Wickham without just sounding like more of the same. That is the beauty of it. He gives you what you already enjoy without making it forced or contrived. It is available on itunes and in Christian bookstores. It is well worth a listen. Then after you have listened, I am sure you will find several songs to introduce in your worship services, and your youth services.


Thanks to Mat Reames for sharing this review with The Worship Community. Mat Reames is a worship leader at Eagle Rock Church in Lawrence, Kansas and blogs at