One Reason to Add a Chorus to a Hymn

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Pastoring, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

The Bee Does it Again I saw the Bee’s wonderful post today, “Federal Judge Orders Chris Tomlin to Stop Adding Choruses to Perfectly Good Hymns.” Always funny; always satirically insightful. I sympathize greatly. Though not a hymn purist (as you will see below), I am sympathetic to the hymn purists’ arguments. Sometimes, when choruses are added to perfectly good hymns, they are added in a careless manner, insensitive to the hymn text, theology, poetry, and authorial intent. Sometimes, it feels … Read More

Thoughts About the Song “Almighty God (Our Hearts Are Open)”

Zac HicksSongwriting2 Comments

If you follow my blog, and if you read my book, you will hear a lot about the Reformational distinction of Law and Gospel. For me, this paradigm is inescapable not only in the Bible but in all of life. It is the distinction that Paul makes in order to exegete the whole Bible in a Christological fashion. From his clear statement in Galatians 2:16, to his developed soteriology in Romans 3, to his exegesis of the Pentateuch in 2 … Read More

Jesus Loves Me releases TODAY!

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Songwriting1 Comment

Jesus Loves Me (Single) by Zac Hicks & Coral Ridge Worship A while back, Coral Ridge Music purposed to write kids’ songs for our local church that gave shape to the liturgical rhythms we hope to instill in our little ones. We wrote several songs that our kids currently sing, and we’re writing more. We’ve written songs of praise, songs of confession, and songs of grace and absolution. The first-fruits of this labor was a project tackled by our interns … Read More

Oceans, Rivers, and Other Two-Sided Biblical Images in Worship Songs

Zac HicksSongwriting6 Comments

Two Thirds of Our Globe (and worship songs, so it seems) It’s high tide for nautical themes in worship songs. “Oceans”-makers, Hillsong Worship, have another album out, OPEN HEAVEN / River Wild. The title track alludes to the outpouring of the Spirit prophesied in Joel and bridges the connection to what happens in worship. There are a couple of metaphors running through the song–prominent biblical imagery for the Holy Spirit: fire and rain. The Bridge gets to the center of … Read More

Behind the Music Over at LIBERATE

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, SongwritingLeave a Comment

Since the album release of Come and Make Us Free a few weeks ago, we’ve been sharing the behind the scenes details about the crafting of each song–the theology, the experience, the process. This week’s song is one that I’ve already done some writing on, and I invite you over to LIBERATE to read the summary of why we wrote “Christ Surrendered All.”  It was one of the standout favorites at LIBERATE 2015. Come and Make Us Free by Zac … Read More

Two Posts Not To Miss

Zac HicksArt and Worship, Personal Stories & Testimonies, SongwritingLeave a Comment

So, I’ve been doing a lot more guest-posting, especially over at LIBERATE, but you’ll also see me writing articles a few other places, like Reformed Worship and Doxology & Theology. For those that follow my blog, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss these articles. A Review of Dan Siedell’sWho’s Afraid of Modern Art “Hearing Art Tell Me Who I Am” First, and most importantly, I want to commend to my readership an unparalelled book that weaves together art … Read More

A Great Invocation to Kick off Good Friday…or any Service

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Resources1 Comment

For our Good Friday service at Coral Ridge this year, we will begin the evening with an Invocation for piano, strings, and voices (though it really could be reset in a bunch of different ways, from choir and organ to folk). It’s called “Come Witness This Gospel to Me,” off our new album, Come and Make Us Free. Personally, it’s my favorite on the album and probably took the most out of me to write, which is saying a lot, given … Read More

A Trinitarian Call to Worship Song

Zac HicksSongwriting1 Comment

Posted yesterday over at LIBERATE was my song analysis of our opening track, “Father, How Great Your Delight in the Son” on our November EP, The Magnifcent Three.    The Magnificent Three by Zac Hicks & Coral Ridge Worship I wanted to write a hymn in Trinitarian shape, similar to “Come Thou Almighty King,” though with a bit more focus on the roles of the Persons and their mutual delight. The ultimate goal was to give the Church a song … Read More

How EDM is Changing the Form of Song Structure in Pop Music…and Maybe Congregational Music

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Songwriting6 Comments

The New EDM “Chorus” Anyone who has been listening to pop music especially the last five years can note the spilling of electronic dance music (EDM) into the mainstream. More and more collaboration is occuring between major EDM artist/DJs/producers (think David Guetta, Avicii, Skrillex [I’ll lump him broadly in]). Songs like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and Guetta/Usher’s “Without You” are the kinds of things I’m talking about. One notices, though, a clash of forms as the two genres of vocals-driven … Read More

Retuning a Fabulous Forgotten Hymn

Zac HicksSongwritingLeave a Comment

Over at LIBERATE, I talk about the 19th century hymn, “His Be the Victor’s Name,” and the process that led to its retuning. Go check it out! I hope it inspires others to join in this movement of now countless musicians re-gifting old hymns to new generations. Go read the post!