|Sixteen Cities Is Making A Way | Posted March 27, 2012
Sixteen Cities is the latest band to continue to establish Centricity Music's artist base as a powerful force in the pop format. The band is back this Spring with their sophomore follow-up to 2010's self-titled debut. The new album Love is Making a Way establishes their voice as one we could be hearing a lot of. Although still a fairly new presence, Sixteen Cities presents an impressively mature style on a solid pop-worship album.
The album begins on a very energetic note with "The Sound of Love" and title track "Love is Making a Way." There's a solid groove beneath the upbeat pacing and the hopeful lyrics that speak of God's love like light breaking through the dark: "it's falling down to all of us beneath, we're lost in the glory of this beautiful refrain." The first several songs on the album are variations on the same theme, showcasing some incredibly smooth production and soaring pop vocals, particularly on tracks like "Still Here With Me" and "All Around the World."
The album really comes into its own about halfway through. Sixteen Cities beautifully takes hold of their style, infusing the upbeat alternative soundscape with a refreshing mellow undercurrent that nicely rounds out the songs. This is evident in the contemplative "What Must it Be Like," a song that seeks to grasp what it would be like to see the world through God's eyes. Another song in a similar musical vein is "Walk On Water," featuring a chilling but gentle acoustic guitar bed that supports the pleading lyrics "I'll walk on water to You if that's the only way to get to where You are and fall into Your arms."
The note of wide-eyed wonder at who God is does not fade out though. There is a quality of almost innocent awe evident from the first track through the last, the incredibly soft but earnest worship song "Consume Me" that cries "Pull me under now. Lord, I want to drown in Your river."
Sixteen Cities' sophomore effort isn't too far from the expected, but it establishes their identity and proves their ability to craft strong songs that shine for both their beautiful sonic balance and their awe-struck, worshipful lyrics. The production work is flawless, but at the same time they don't lean on it too heavily-- the songwriting, vocals, and instrumental work are equally strong. Overall, this is a well-rounded album with a nice balance of upbeat and mellow moments.
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