Raucous, award-winning band, The City Harmonic, known for its eclectic modern hymns and worship anthems of longing, hope and celebration, was formed through the sweat, joy and tears of urban mission. From a crucible of small churches of various denominations in Hamilton, Ontario, calling themselves TrueCity, the heart and line-up of the band was fused. Grappling with the struggle of everyday people and writing songs for worship fueled by a "together for the good of the city" ethos, The City Harmonic returns with its third full-length album, WE ARE.
Composed by The City Harmonic members Elias Dummer (lead vocals, keys), Eric Fusilier (bass), Josh Vanderlaan (drums) and Aaron Powell (guitars), and produced by Jonny Macintosh, WE ARE (#WeAreTheCityHarmonic) bursts with a renewed commitment to the band's original pulse. With 11 authentic expressions of worship and unity, WE ARE captures what gets them up in the morning and keeps them grounded come what may.
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Unified Adoration| Posted September 02, 2015
No worship band in recent history has created the kind of reaction The City Harmonic did with their EP Introducing The City Harmonic, which features the standout anthem "Manifesto." They have followed that up with each album being their new best: I Have a Dream (It Feels Like Home), which features "Mountaintop" and "Holy (Wedding Day)," and Heart, which features "A City on a Hill" and "Praise the Lord." The band is made of frontman Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, a group of musicians who doesn't have much interest in gathering fans, but rather aims to come alongside other members of the Body of Christ.
The opening four tracks set the tone brilliantly for this exceptional alternative rock worship album, one of the best of the year. The opening track "We Are One" and closing track "One" bookend the theme of the album that weaves through every track: "Make us one as You are One." Once you let the song "We Are One" sink in to your soul, you won't be able to get the uplifting lyrics out of your head. I find myself frequently singing the unifying chorus: "We are one, we are all for One, all for Jesus, One for all, to the glory of the One true God."
In the style of "Mountaintop" and "Manifesto," I can't get enough of "Maranatha." You'll get swept up in the emotion of the bridge, "for the dark and the light at war in me, Maranatha... for the widowed wife, and the orphaned one, Maranatha." You'll want to jump to your feet, raise your hands and sing at the top of your lungs, "Christ has come and Christ is coming, rise and sing, Maranatha!"
"Into Your Arms" takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God Almighty, our Lord and Savior Jesus. The chorus is very stirring and convicting. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. You'll want to lift your voice to Jesus in singing these words, "Oh How You love me... Oh How I love You now, I found freedom in the fall into Your arms, into Your arms I'm falling."
During "Solid Rock," front man Elias Dummer achingly sings "Christ the Solid Rock, I'm standing on, through the pouring rain, I won't be afraid!" Brit-rock guitars swell with the orchestra adding stringed instruments, and my spine tingles during this moving song.
The Church can all sing to "Let There Be Light" with the words "Oh Word of God, let there be light, cut through the dark, Oh let there be light...Oh Word of God, let there be light." It 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. We need to celebrate that freedom with our hands reaching out to others in Christ, showing His light in us and letting Him shine in us.
"All of This & More" is a love song to our Savior, which you'll join in singing after one listen: "You are more, You are Who all this is for, You are more, You are more, You are all of this and more." 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 love Jesus and be loved unconditionally by Him.
"Oh What Love" reflects the yearning for Jesus that I pray for my daughters to feel in their hearts as well. The song is a beautiful reminder of our eternal promise and convicts us to remember our blessed hope of living forever with Him based on His love for us. Followers of Jesus can all sing "Jesus, oh what Love, Jesus, oh what Love. Nothing can separate us from Your love, no mountain high, no valley low. How wide, how deep, how wide the love of God, more love than I have ever known." The beauty and majesty of our King Jesus is reverently captured throughout the album with anthem after anthem, including the reflective closing tracks "Confession (Agnus Dei)," "Still and Small" and "One."
Closing Thoughts: We Are contains eleven 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. The album is a collection of modern hymns, psalms and spiritual songs for the Church, born out of churches working together and drawing inspiration from traditions and styles of worship throughout the ages. You'll experience the majestic nature of God in the music of The City Harmonic.
Every song released by The City Harmonic completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration of Jesus. These songs were written from a place of reflecting on what it means to be one body of Christ as Christ is One with the Father and Holy Spirit. The project is intended to lead listeners to that place also. 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.
I eagerly await each new release, and the truly stellar We Are is now my top overall album by The City Harmonic. These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically based lyrics. There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning set. 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.
Song to Download Now:
"We Are One" (Get it on iTunes here.)