Stress meant that I forgot I had already posted about this EP. Fortunately, I had about the same opinion both times.
They call it an EP although at eight tracks, it’s nearly a complete album. However, Hillsong may have better off to chop of Born is the King at six tracks. Skip the attempts at “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.” Both seem like compulsory add-ons lacking the originality of the rest of the EP.
The EP starts off strong with the instrumental prelude, “The Westward Procession,” leading into a drone-led, banjo/folk background “Joy to the World.” “Joy to the World” pairs Hillsong’s worship choir characteristics with that folk-influenced vibe, just hinting at the Decemberists or Jars of Clay. The stomp down, African tribe-like feel of the original “Born is the King (It’s Christmas)” recalls some of the work of Caedemon’s Call. The track jumps out as a top song for the 2011 season. “We Three Kings,” blending new melody lines with echoes of the traditional, comes on as a singer-songwriter coffeehouse version. “O Come Let Us Adore Him” marches in slowly, bearing in its hands “O Come All Ye Faithful,” even as the song then spills out into a swaying, tribal chorale.