We Are Messengers is poised to release the first batch of new music since the Dove Award-nominated act’s 2016 critically-acclaimed self-titled debut. Extending their track record of transparent songwriting, the group will release the Honest EP March 29, 2019. The six-track set was produced by Tedd T. (Francesca Battistelli, Stars Go Dim) and Benjamin Backus (for KING & COUNTRY, Blanca) and features powerful radio hit “Maybe It’s OK.”
“Honest is the most truthful, raw and personal record we have made,” shares We Are Messengers frontman Darren Mulligan. “We’ve pushed ourselves to be vulnerable, to share our heartache, loneliness and joy so that everyone who listens can have permission to share theirs, too.”
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Authenticity At Its Best| Posted March 26, 2019 What You Need To Know A group that has more than made their mark on the CCM community since their 2016 debut, We Are Messengers has become known for their powerful live show, vulnerable ministry, and life-changing authenticity. Fronted by former The Remission Flow member Darren Mulligan, the desire to offer listeners something real has played a vital role in We Are Messengers' music from the very beginning. Three years after radio hit "Everything Comes Alive" shot them to an unexpected place as leaders in their genre, Darren and the crew are back with new music that declares God's healing, freedom, and nearness through an EP with a title that clearly states what their entire career has been about: being Honest.
What It Sounds Like The bold pop/rock sound that quickly became signature for We Are Messengers is present in every bit of the six tracks on Honest. Energetic moments that will keep you moving make their appearance in the first notes of the opening title track, flowing over into rock-influenced "The Devil Is A Liar" and electronic-vibed "Gold and Glory." A We Are Messengers record wouldn't be complete without a few emotion-stirring ballads, and that's exactly what we get in the remaining half of the EP with laid-back "Abide," a heart-cry for intimacy with God, followed by a moving message to Darren's wife in "Wolves," and finally beautifully transparent lead single "Maybe It's Okay."
Spiritual Highlights Everything about this EP points us back to the truth of scripture and a God who desires honesty in our relationships, both with Him ("Abide," "Maybe It's Okay") and with others ("Honest," "Wolves"). With bold challenges about choosing the glory of God over the treasures of this world ("Gold and Glory") and declarations that shed light on the enemy's schemes ("The Devil Is A Liar"), Honest captures the perfect balance of being personally relatable while still being vertically worshipful.
Best Song on the Album For an EP carrying the title of Honest, "Maybe It's Okay" is everything the community of music-lovers longing for something boldly genuine needed it to be. A radio hit that's been impacting the lives of thousands of listeners since its release last fall, the song offers a safe space for people to admit that they are broken and hurting, backed by a chorus that promises the resounding truth of God's grace: "Maybe it's okay if I'm not okay 'cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me."
Final Word For a Christian music culture that wrestles with vulnerability and desires something real in the songs they sing along with, Honest is authenticity at it's best. These six tracks are packed with the truths of Scripture and wrapped in encouragement for the weary listener who longs to be seen, heard, and ministered to. This EP goes above and beyond in accomplishing its mission to be Honest, and yet again proves that We Are Messengers are in a class of their own when it comes to crafting music that is both carefully genuine and creatively brilliant.
A Step in the Right Direction| Posted April 03, 2019
We Are Messengers has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years since their self-titled debut album released in 2016, and for good reason. The band has a knack for crafting catchy pop anthems that see great success on Christian Radio. However, while the songs themselves have been enjoyable listens, musically they lacked innovation and did not bring anything all that new to the table. That being said, the band showed promise for the future, and now here they are in 2019 with their EP titled ‘Honest’.
Based on the title alone, we get an idea of what to expect lyrically. Frontman Darren Mulligan said that “Honest is the most truthful, raw and personal record we have made”. This is made evident right off the bat, as the title track focuses on how it is important for us to be honest with who we are, and not try to hide our hurt from others. Musically, We Are Messengers fans will feel right at home in familiar territory for the band as “Honest” is filled with infectious hooks, backed by catchy and peppy electronic elements. Following this up is the slower “Abide”, which almost acts as a response to the title track. This song speaks about abiding in God for comfort, and letting go of all fear in His presence: “All of my hurt erased / With you my heart is safe / All my fear is gone / With you I find my rest / God, I'm running home”. This is followed up by the anthemic radio hit “Maybe It’s Ok”, which perfectly meshes the first two tracks together from a lyrical standpoint. Darren passionately sings that “Maybe it’s Ok, if I’m not Ok / ‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me”.
Things take an unexpected turn with the rock-based “The Devil Is A Liar”, a boot-stomping anthem for Christians to rise up and face the Devil without fear, because God has already set us free. Musically, this is something we haven’t seen from the band before, and got this particular reviewer quite excited - I hope we see more of this from them in the future. The album switches gears again with the heartfelt, acoustic-driven love ballad “Wolves”, before closing on the epic anthem “Gold And Glory”. The latter track is based on Mark 8:36 and focuses on how it is important for us to find our worth in Christ instead of earthly things, and is a solid closer.
Like most pop records, this one isn’t without its flaws. This album struggles a bit with its musical identity, relying too heavily on electronic elements at times. While each song serves its purpose on the album, some are weaker than others (“Abide”, “Maybe It’s Ok”). Thankfully, Darren’s passionate vocal delivery and solid lyricism keeps these tracks from sinking completely into mediocrity. Also, “The Devil Is A Liar” seems a bit out of place, as it is quite different than anything else on the EP. That being said, We Are Messengers delivers for the most part on this EP, and definitely shows potential to rise above the status quo. Is this the most innovative, groundbreaking pop we’ve heard? No, not really. But, it’s solid pop that grows on you with each listen. For pop fans, this EP is a must listen; and if this isn’t really your thing, I would still recommend giving it a spin - you may be pleasantly surprised.