An Enjoyable Sound for Worship
Posted March 12, 2013
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Citizens is another group hoping to join the ranks of popular contemporary worship bands on the scene. While the song titles for their self-titled debut might not indicate a very original project, the music is actually surprisingly fresh.
"Sweetness of Freedom" is an upbeat pop/rock number and a decent opener to the album. There's a definite edge to the vocals that fits well with the music. "In Tenderness" has a strong piano intro that leads into another strong pop track.
It was also at this point where I started to become very much reminded of another act in Christian music, Seabird. There's a definite musical similarity but even vocally, the similarities are almost enough to go and check the artist again. In fact, most of the album sounds like what a worship album from Seabird might sound like. Luckily, this isn't a bad thing at all. The music is consistently catchy and upbeat, with a lot of cheers and shouts to create an exciting and engaging listening experience.
"Made Alive" is when the album really shines with an opening keyboard hook destined to get stuck in your head. The song as a whole works great as a single and is a highlight of the album as a whole. "Sins of my Youth" has a synth-backing that creates a bit of an eerie feeling that fits with the penitent nature of the song. The song explodes into create a rousing and musically complex bridge. There's a lot going on here and it's another outstanding moment on the album. There are even some hints of rock in here. All in all, this is quite the musical standout.
"Praise to the Lord" is a soothing and rousing cover of the classic hymn. The powerful music that has driven the entire album breathes new life to the melodies and the powerful vocals bring a whole new level of honesty to the praise classic.
There are numerous musical highpoints on the album that will help it to standout from the pack. Lyrically, though, it's pretty much the standard fare. There's nothing particularly bad or cheesy. "You have brought me back with the riches of your amazing grace and relentless love," is a worthy chorus. There's a lot of scripture-based praising of our savior throughout the album. It doesn't really break any new ground but it also doesn't particularly have to. The album more than accomplishes what it set out to accomplish.
Citizens manage to find a workable balance between catchy pop music and uplifting praise and worship. It's not always an easy balance to find but these guys seem to know what they're doing and that helps the album feel above average. Those looking for a fresh take on the genre would do well to give this album a listen.
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