Juno Award-winning worshipers the City Harmonic continue their symphonic journey of imagination with their music - anticipated sophomore release, Heart. Deepening their spiritual roots in the hopes and fears of real life and revealing the heart and art of the band, Heart connects to that missing piece in all of us. Whether in pop explosion or in ethereal ballad, these new songs give us permission to sing out... in hope, in hurt, from the heart.
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Take Heart| Posted August 30, 2013 I've been saved since 1999, and my testimony is that Jars of Clay's debut album rocked my world and changed my perspective of thinking I was good enough to go to heaven, and that my theology was Jesus plus works, going to church, and good behavior. I recognized in the song "Worlds Apart" that I needed to strip that away and allow my Savior to come into my heart and take root of what was in the way and ask Jesus to indwell me with His love, His Spirit, and His "bleeding Heart." What I love about Heart by The City Harmonic is that since I've been saved, I don't often hear an album that foundationally brings me back to when I wasn't a Christian, what am I thinking now and what do I need to strip away from my religiosity, and from my use of "Christianese" language. This album challenges me to think about how I'm living out my faith.
The orchestral musical flow of "Here and There" sets the tone brilliantly, including a light percussion heart beat as front man Elias Dummer achingly sings "heartbeat little heart, there you are, there you are / I come kicking I come screaming / I was used to the dark, You whispered light and lit a spark / there You are, there You are….You were, You are, You are, to come!" Brit-rock guitars swell with the orchestra adding stringed instruments, and my spine tingles during this moving song.
In another goose bump inducing song complete with harmonic gang-vocals, "Praise the Lord" proclaims "Praise the Lord, because in every moment, Jesus Christ is Lord!" "Strong" asks the question "what love is this that loves no matter what?" based on 1 John 3:1 (NKJV) "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,because it did not know Him." That type of "gourmet" biblical phrasing sets this album on a higher plane than most of what I hear in any genre of music.
In my opinion, "Take Heart" is the signature song by this incredible band. It includes all of the elements of what I love about them in a musical build and emotionally moving lyrics rooted in Scripture, and like "Manifesto," when Eli sings "moments come, and moments fade…Your heart oh God is what I need, You've overcome the world, take heart," I sing along loudly and say Amen!
"Alive, Alive" is another sing-along with Eli displaying an incredible vocal range wrapped around a hook-filled melody. I literally shout to the Lord the rousing chorus "My God saves, I'm up from the grave, I'm alive, that's what He's done for me, alive, alive, O My God, that's what You've done for me!" The phrase "now it's alright, alright, it's alright" ends the song. That leads to an incredible reminder sung by Eric that in this broken world or in sickness we can all cry out to God "Love, Heal Me."
The Church can all sing to God be the "Glory" with the words "Shine a light for all to see, singing glory glory" which flows beautifully into lead single "A City on a Hill," based on the Beatitudes. Jesus really loves us just as we are, not who we pretend to be. Not only does He love our weaknesses, He blesses us because of them. Being poor in spirit, meek, persecuted, and insulted bring blessings from God, which is all we need. I can't help but break down every time I listen to the song. This song encourages me and is one of the most inspirational songs I've ever heard. The City Harmonic really captures what it means to be loved unconditionally by Jesus.
I love knowing that in my brokenness, I am actually closer to God. It is so wonderful to know that failing by the world's standards is what we are called to be as devoted followers of Jesus. "A City on a Hill" is a great message and song for us to celebrate our freedom from sin based on our faith in Christ Jesus. Also, it is commanded by Jesus in Matthew 5:16 to "let your light shine" so that others may praise God based on seeing the power of His life in us. Sometimes we forget to give Jesus credit for our freedom and accomplishments. We need to celebrate that freedom with our hands reaching out to others in Christ and show His light in us and let Him shine in us, "like a City on a Hill." Amen.
"Live Love" includes more "gourmet" phrasing: "Love it has a bleeding heart, love it doesn't count the cost… live love, because you're the love letter." When asked about the song, Elias says "It's a popular Christian thing to say that the Bible is God's love letter to the world, but Paul paints us as the love letter (2 Corinthians 3:2). We can't miss this." The album closes as strong as it starts, with a trio of gorgeous reflective and prayerful songs about living as image bearers of Christ: "Long Walk Home," "Brand New" and "My Jesus I Love Thee."
Closing Thoughts: This album causes me to think about what kind of a "love letter" my life story is writing for Jesus. It is my belief that every single believer needs to hear this album. If you're only going to buy one album this year, I strongly suggest Heart. I'm both challenged and entertained, and I love hearing Scripture proclaimed in fresh and exciting ways. Every song is emotionally stirring and rooted in the Truth of God's Word. The only other musically emotional experience I've had that is comparable, "Fix You" by Coldplay, isn't rooted in biblical Truth.
The themes of this album are about trusting God and 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.
Song to Download Now: "A City on a Hill" (Get it on iTunes here.)
The City Harmonic has been making a name for themselves in the CCM arena with popular radio hits such as "Manifesto" and "Mountaintop." Their signature harmonic sound has poised them to become a major player in the industry, and just another hit or two could easily launch them into the top tier of their genre. Their latest release, Heart, definitely comes full of such potential hits.
One thing you'll instantly notice about The City Harmonic is that their big appeal is explained in their name. On paper, the band seems like any other straightforward contemporary Christian pop act. Everything from the songwriting to the melodies could easily give you the impression that these songs could be sung by just about anybody in the business. Yet, when you actually hear how the band does it, you begin to understand the uniqueness this band brings to the musical table.
After a brief piano interlude, the first track "Here and There" kicks into a rousing orchestral anthem. The song balances delicate quiet moments in its beginning with the soaring instrumental and choral segments that come in later to form an excellent opener that grabs your attention and prepares you for the album that is to follow. And so we see the "harmonic" part of the band's name accurately describes the music. Not only are there spine-tingling vocal harmonies throughout this song (and the entire album), but the music seems to harmonize both a light rock sound, an orchestral anthemic sound, and a softer ballad sound. Together, it creates quite a unique and powerful listening experience.
"Praise The Lord" continues this pattern, and the result is an inspiring worship track that benefits from the big sound the band has crafted and stands out a lot more than comparable tracks in the genre. "Strong" has an emotional piano intro to a song that from the first verse promises to be a standout track. With a great balance between an inspiring chorus and beat-driven verses, this is an excellent option for radio. Definitely another potential hit here and I'm hoping it sees radio play down the road. Born out of band member Eric Fusilier's struggle with cancer, the song is a passionate and heartfelt reminder of how "when I am weak / You're strong." The message itself is one we're used to in CCM, but the heartfelt story behind this gives it a new layer of depth.
"Take Heart" and "Alive, Alive" both continue the soaring potential hits and keep the album's momentum speeding along. "Love Heal Me" and the borderline interlude "Songs of Longing, Joy, and Peace" offer a nice slowdown to the big sounds with a more acoustic sound driving each. However, there's still enough of the harmonies to keep this "breather" interesting. The latter leads into the surprisingly peppy "Glory." The tune's chorus has the band's signature harmonized vocals displayed to perfection and, coupled with the pep of the verses, it makes another standout track worthy of radio. This is something I could've seen The Newsboys doing back in the day.
Lead single "A City on a Hill" follows with lyrics inspired by The Beatitudes and is a fine example of everything there is to love about The City Harmonic, making it a great single choice. As the chorus proclaims, "Like a city on a hill / Lighting up the way / For the glory of the lord / Rise and shine," one can't help but feel that theme radiating throughout much of Heart, the theme of lighting up the way for the glory of Christ, who lights our way. This one is easy to picture on the radio while still feeling fresh and passionate.
"Long Walk Home" and "Brand New" return to the stripped-down sound and show that The City Harmonic is perfectly capable of excelling at a slowed down approach as well. The songs offer a more intimate portrait of Christ's presence in our lives.
Lastly, "My Jesus, I Love Thee" wraps things up fairly quietly, with a piano intro and a softer ballad approach to the song, the signature harmonies returning once more towards the end to properly conclude the album. As a simple moment of praise to Our Lord and Savior, the song excels and helps wrap the "heart" of the message up nicely, serving as one last reminder of where ours hearts should be always focused: on knowing, loving, and serving Christ.
With many potential hits and an uninterrupted inspirational feel, Heart may prove to be one of the strongest contemporary Christian albums released in the second half of the year. The band seems to know who they are and what they want to do, and this shows in how well they do the music. Heart excels where it's supposed to and reinvigorates the promise this band has shown in the past.
Heart Album Review From The City Harmonic| Posted December 04, 2013
This is a real awesome album from The City Harmonic. I loved every single song on this album. My two most favorite songs would be A City On A Hill and My Jesus I Love Thee. This is another awesome album and I loved it. The City Harmonic has such awesome music and I love the albums they come out with. If you haven't heard of The City Harmonic be sure to check out this album then you can become a fan like I am of this awesome band. I do highly recommend this album to fans of The City Harmonic. Check it out and be sure to give it a listen. If you do like it or love it then be sure to buy it and you can enjoy it like I already am. Check it out and I hope you will like it or even love it too.
Heart| Posted October 14, 2013 Multiple-award winning Canadian Band The City Harmonic recently released their highly anticipated sophomore albumHeart. After the release of their debut albumI have a Dream (Feels Like Home), The City Harmonic became the subject of Christian forums, garnering numerous nominations including their recent fourGMA Canada Covenant Awards(happening Nov. 6 at Burlington, Ontario) as the Artist and Group of the Year, Praise and Worship Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year for their epic songHoly (Wedding Day).Reflecting life lived by the band members since their full-length debut, the new album shifts from the dream of what could and should be to the complexities ofhow to follow the true humanity of Christ’s example in the world.
HEART starts with an elegant piano orchestration Here & There. You can feel a heavy and very thick emotion, then in a sudden drop Elias Dummer entered in a soft voice. Its poetically-written lyrics will amuse you with its depth: “The heart is like Pandora’s box with just a crack it’s opened up to beat anew when all is lost to run, crawl, come home,” it describes a new life in Christ—who brought us into light, having a heart that is broken & contrite in repentance.There’s a grace for today so Praise the Lord; a song that reminds us to praise the Lord, rain or shine, whether you’re in darkness or light, in good times & bad—in every circumstances, because Jesus Christ is Lord. Its excellent packaging has been their signature along with their radio single City on a Hill; a clear exhortation of the Beatitudes/ Sermon on the Mount found in the book of Matthew chapter five. The piano-oriented Strong is birthed in the middle of Eric Fussilier’s battle with cancer he co-penned this anthem with Elias. The theme of God’s light shining in the darkness is one of the noticeable attributes of the songs throughout the album.
We all live in a fallen world; full of sorrow, pain and desperation, and no one is exempted to this. We can feel it all and sometimes we’re being discouraged and in doubt of God’s power. But Jesus said in John 16:33:”Take heart, for I have overcome the world!” it is the reminder of the song Take Heart, to re-affirm our trust and faith in Him. With the same message comes the upbeat Alive, Alive; an assurance in Him that though we walk through the valley (Psalm 23), He’ll never leave us for He’s alive that’s why we’re alive. Acoustic-based Love, Heal Me is a humble prayer for healing, honest and straight from the heart of the bassist Eric. Its instrumentation is somehow parallel to NeedToBreathe’s Lay ‘Em Down. The 28-second rhyme Songs of Longing, Joy and Peace is a prelude to Glory; an excellent expression of worship to Jesus the glory of God. The synths and lively beats will excite you
Love is highlighted with the songs Live Love& the rarely titled 1+1. Respectively, the one conveys the message of the extravagant love of Jesus, to make it the foundation of our lives, and the other one is about marital love. Long Walk Home is gorgeously presented in an acoustic plus maracas ensemble. It describes the journey of the prodigal son home to his father. Another acoustic-based song Brand New is a message of need of a Savior and Redeemer that He alone can make us brand new. To conclude the album, there’s their harmonious & ethereal cover of the classic hymn My Jesus I Love Thee; any listener would love to join the chorus together with the choir on proclaiming our love to Him our Savior.
Heart is simply honest and raw. This jam-packed 14-track album is a rousing journey of faith, hope, love, healing and grace found in Jesus. Breathed upon by God, all of the songs are straight from the heart. A wonderful reminder and help for us to imitate Jesus. No wonder why The City Harmonic garnered lots of nominations and awards from various giving bodies! Open you heart and listen to the beat of the Heart!
ABOUT THE CITY HARMONIC
2011 Breakout Artist of the Year The City Harmonic barreled its way from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada onto the music scene with Introducing The City Harmonic, an EP featuring “Manifesto,” which soared to No. 5 on iTunes and captivated over a million viewers on YouTube. Top that with becoming the best selling new artist on Billboard’s Top Current Digital Sales Chart (over 80K downloads), and it’s enough, among life’s crazy distractions, to get your attention.
But this band—vocalist/songwriter and pianist Elias Dummer,bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan— isn’t content to feed the machine or build a fan base so much as to build upon a dream. And not a dream as in a fairy tale. But THE Dream. These four guys grapple with the tension of this world, crafting it into anthems of longing, hope, and love—songs of light for ‘seeing through a glass darkly.’ The City Harmonic makes music that makes you reconsider what you really believe… about yourself, your world and your God.
Integrity Music is a division of David C Cook, a leading nonprofit global resource provider serving the Church with life-transforming materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Integrity’s resources are distributed in more than 160 countries and sold worldwide. Originally founded as a direct-to-consumer music club in 1987, Integrity grew into one of Christian music’s biggest success stories and in the process helped ignite the widespread popularity of contemporary praise and worship music. Integrity Music’s roster includes: Lincoln Brewster, Paul Baloche, Rend Collective Experiment, All Sons & Daughters, Brothers McClurg, Daniel Bashta, Gateway Worship, New Life Worship, Christine D’Clario, ALM:uk, Planetshakers, Worship Central, Brian Doerksen and GRAMMY Award winners the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Israel Houghton. See more at: http://integritymusic.com/
Disclosure: I received free review copy of the album in exchange of my honest review and opinion. Special thanks to Ms.S.Walker
They're growing!| Posted September 02, 2013
They have grown so much musically, they just seem to get better and better as time goes on. It seems they tried all sorts of new things this time. There's so much variety on this album, there is something for each person's individual taste! From the classic style of worship (strings and all), to a bit of southern/roots. They even had a bit of dubstep in one of the songs! I still absolutely love Elias' voice. I went to a concert of theirs last year, and I felt the Holy Spirit's presence fully. Every time I listen to a youtube video of them playing 'Holy Wedding Day' live I can't help but cry because of the annointing that God has filled this band with. They are definitely still holding their place as my favorite worship band. I am looking forward to seeing them live again with this new album.
Heart| Posted August 30, 2013
This album is lovely with a feel to worship I personally love the song praise, even with the blend of the music am loving it. May the good Lord continue to minister to you so that we can be able to praise the most high God.
Good new songs| Posted August 29, 2013
I really enjoyed listening to the new album by The City Harmonic. There are some very worshipful songs that go along with really good music. I really enjoyed their first album and plan to purchase this one when it is available. It is nice to have the streaming preview available.