There is a major difference between corporate and private worship; each carries different qualities and different benefits. While private worship music usually can express the heart without needing that "sing-along" ability, corporate worship can bring all believers into a unified anthem of praise. Unfortunately, most of the latest worship songs, and sadly some of the most popular, have started repeating themselves and the church denies the Psalms' cry to, "Sing a new song!" However, there is a voice crying out of the wilderness of worship music and it sings of new songs. That voice belongs to the Canadian worship band The City Harmonic, and like John the Baptist, the worship provided on their debut EP, Introducing The City Harmonic, is immersive in every way.
The EP begins with the piano driven and near bluesy "I Wonder." It contains elements of questioning the goodness of God and recognizing it as well. While not conventional or traditional by any means, it is full of passion and revelation. This is followed by "Manifesto," which is hands down the best track on the album. This song is sure to be a hit with youth groups as it mildly dances a hard rock line. However, along with the incredible music, the message is clearly an anthem of doctrine as the lyrics state, "We believe in the one true God. We believe in Father, Spirit, Son…" And it also includes the Lord's Prayer! It's not every day you hear the Nicene Creed and Scripture reiterated in your corporate worship music.
The energy continues with the string infused "My God." And yes, we are given another nonconventional worship experience as The City sings of surrendering to the Lord. Transitioning beautifully is the ballad "Coming My Way." Most males struggle with singing songs with romanticism in their worship, however this is done wonderfully as it's like a love song to the Father; clinging to the fact that God has found us and we are His.
Out of the ballad, we are back into the action with, "I Am." This song is a straight declaration of the awesomeness of the God we serve, accompanied by fist pumping, chest thumping good music. The album concludes with a simple break down of desperation in "What I Want." It's a great finale as the voices sing in unified praise, "Hallelujah!"
Introducing The City Harmonic is truly is an album full of new songs, but it ain't your typical Sunday morning sing-a-long. If you are looking for something fresh and new for corporate worship music, it can be found in The City Harmonic. It might not be for everyone, and might not be what leads you in your private time, but when it comes to the assembly of believers… this might be a rebirthing of worship music that has been a long time coming!
- Review date: 11/21/10, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com