The City Harmonic, consisting of front man Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, wrote and recorded all of the songs for I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home), which was co-produced by the band and Jared Fox.
From the “now but not yet” tension of earthly Christian living heard in much of the album, including the title track and “Mountaintop,” to having hope in the midst of struggle in “Fell Apart” and “Be Still O My Soul,” to dealing with apathy in “Yours” and “Wake Me Up” and living missionally in “Spark” and “Benediction,” the songs take the listener on a poetic journey.
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The City Harmonic [I Have A Dream]| Posted December 12, 2011
No worship band in recent history has created the kind of reaction The City Harmonic has with their EP, Introducing The City Harmonic. The band, consisting of frontman Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, isn’t as interested in finding fans as they are looking for participants in the journey. Their single "Manifesto" has climbed both the Christian CHR and AC charts and their album has remained in the top 15 of all of Christian music. “Manifesto” is the type of song I wish I was singing at my church right now. The song boldly declares a statement of faith: “We believe in the one true God, We believe in Father Spirit Son, We believe that good has won, And all of the people of God sing along, Amen.” This worship anthem is just the type of infusion that the church needs with its honesty and bold lyrics. The song ends with “The Lord’s Prayer.” The single edit version of the hit song is included as the last track of this very solid album.
I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home), their new full length album contains 11 brand new songs that continue the musical journey, with lyrics that point to the wonders of our God combined with sweeping melodies and infectious choruses that will be replayed in your mind over and over again. Experience the majestic nature of God in the music of The City Harmonic. The opening four tracks set the tone brilliantly for this exceptional alternative rock worship album, one of the best of the year. “Yours” is an unashamed declaration of faith to God in the same rock style as “Manifesto.” Elias Dummer belts out the sincere chorus, “You can have it all, It’s Yours, all of it, Yours…” What a great reminder that everything we have is a gift from God. That Truth is manifested in the “I’m Yours” bridge to close out the song. I love the next song, “Spark,” which reminds me of “My God” from the EP. The Brit-Rock guitar riff and Coldplay-esque harmonies make this a signature tune by this incredibly talented band. “Just a spark can change my heart, just a spark is just a start, light a fire in my heart!” is the bold testimonial of this song which is a great anthem for Christians everywhere praying to be filled with The Holy Spirit.
In a poignant moment, there’s an excerpt of Martin Luther King’s “Mountaintop” speech where he prays “I just want to do God’s will, I may not get there with you, but we as a people will get to the promised land…” which leads into the drumbeat intro of “Mountaintop.” The song is filled with challenging lyrics, “We’ll be the glory of our King, in His Kingdom come…We’ve been to the mountaintop, we’ve seen the glory of our God, He’s here in the valley low, I feel it in my bones…We are the body of our God!” I am very moved by these opening songs. I find myself raising my hands in worship after those opening tracks, and then I'm compelled to reach out horizontally to help show others the love of Jesus. The title track and first single, which was written even before the songs on the EP, “I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home)” is a soaring, melodic anthem that sings the hope of heaven imprinted on our hearts before the foundation of the world. According to the band, the song has always been the lynchpin on which the full-length record would hinge. “The dream, like Martin Luther King’s, is that there is another way,” Elias explains, “that it can be what we say it is, the eventual truth that we will awaken, just as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz awakened from her dream, to find ourselves home at last.”
CLOSING THOUGHTS What’s most impressive is how these catchy songs will have you singing along at the top of your lungs after just a couple of listens. This is the best new worship band I’ve heard since Delirious, which is absolutely incredible. Just like Delirious, I think The City Harmonic has a great opportunity to reach the lost for the Kingdom of God with their transparent lyrics and incredible musical talent. This album I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home), completely rocks and is loaded with songs you can proudly share with your friends and family. The themes of this album are Trusting God, loving Him and loving others as He loved us. All of the songs are catchy, exciting and worshipful. After listening to the album, I am stirred with compassion to love people as Jesus loves us. That's the heart behind this album, and thank you The City Harmonic for blessing us with your music and for singing the Truth of the Gospel for the Kingdom of God.
A Powerful Musical Experience| Posted October 17, 2011
First bursting onto the scene in 2010 with their radio hit “Manifesto,” The City Harmonic has quickly become a well-known new face in Christian music. This Canadian foursome is “bent on living today for the world to come” and their first full-length album, I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home), is perfect evidence of this.
The opening track “Yours” begins with a lone electric guitar, as drums and piano enter. It has an ethereal sound that draws you in and as singer/songwriter, Elias Dummer adds his voice to the mix, it’s obvious this isn’t your run of the mill worship album. As the song progresses, the music swells and voices are added, creating a depth of sound and emotion. Dummer repeats “You can have it all, it’s Yours, all of it Yours.” These are simple lyrics, but the sound these musicians have created reveals the heart behind them.
“Spark” could be considered a new take on the childhood favorite “This Little Light Of Mine.” Dummer sings in Chris Martin style, “This little light’s gonna shine, with just a spark, light a fire,” impressing upon listeners that in the right hands, the simplest of deeds can make a big difference. “Just a spark can change a heart,” he sings.
With an album entitled I Have A Dream, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. were bound to make an appearance. “Mountaintop” opens with a recording of King proclaiming, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.” Using this reference as a symbol of God’s people one day seeing their Maker face to face, this song also reveals that the Kingdom of God is here and now. The chorus reiterates, “we’ve been to the mountaintop, we’ve seen the glory of our God…He is here in the valley low, He’s here I feel it in my bones, our God here and now, we are the body of our God.” There is hope that one day all will be made right, but as the body of Christ, we can make a difference in the world right now.
“Fell Apart” and “Wake Me Up” have poignant lyrics that come from a personal place of brokenness and repentance. In “Fell Apart” Dummer sings, “You’re something real in the world of fake,” praising God for Who He is… more than words on a page. In “Wake Me Up” Dummer admits, “I was so busy living, I forgot to be alive… In the darkest of nights, you wake me up to shine.” Sometimes it takes the struggles and hardest times in our lives to wake us up to what God truly has for us.
Title track “I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home)” talks about the day Jesus will return to take us home. Dummer admits “there’s no place like home,” and as we journey through this world of heartbreak and disappointment, we have hope because this is not our home.
The final track on the album, “Benediction” leaves the listener with these parting words. “Live like you mean it, sing like you’re livin’ for God.” It’s pretty obvious The City Harmonic expects those who listen to their music to join them in acting on what they hear.
If Coldplay were a worship band, this is what they’d sound like. The City Harmonic has a sound unlike any other in Christian music today. So much so, I hesitate to even call them a band, but rather musicians because the quality of the music is so powerful. At times the music speaks louder than the lyrics themselves because it comes from the heart. Every song on this album has an extremely anthemic and full sound that continuously builds until coming to an abrupt end with the last note hanging in the balance. This leaves the song feeling unfinished, but perhaps that’s the point. We’re not home yet and until we are, we will never feel complete. The City Harmonic is a welcome addition to the variety of Christian music already out there and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes them.
I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home)| Posted October 26, 2011
I enjoyed listening to this release this week from 'The City Harmonic'. It's great to have God honoring music in various styles and this album definitely fills that need. With a fresh modern sound, I'm sure this release will do well for the band. My favorite tracks were #6 "Wake me Up" and "Manifesto".
Amazing New Group and Album!| Posted October 10, 2011
I've enjoyed listening to The City Harmonic's first release "Introducing The City Harmonic". It stays on repeat in my car as I drive down the road, praising God! This group will be around for many days to come, Lord Willing. I love their sound... modern day Beatles meets Cold Play with U2'ish insightful lyrics and drum beat chants. LOVE IT!!!
Interesting style| Posted October 05, 2011
The guys at City Harmonic have an interesting way of singing and arranging their songs. The songs at the front of the album are upbeat and interesting, but the rest of the album is rather slow. Yet, most of the songs are very enjoyable. And the last song is a unique rendition of the Lord's Prayer. These guys are really unique. They're definately worth a listen (and many, many more).