A Fitting Farewell
Posted June 21, 2017
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
The City Harmonic has made quite an impact on worship music with their standout anthems "Manifesto," "Mountaintop, "Holy (Wedding Day)," "A City on a Hill," "Praise the Lord" and "Let There Be Light." The band, consisting of front man Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, are closing their ministry with this selection of standouts from over their career recorded live in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.
"My God" kicks off the biblical focus of this collection and is based on Psalm 121. The song is like listening to David crying out to God with a worshipful chorus: "O, my God / I lift my heart up / whether it's whole or broken / good God I know / You're gonna work it out / So on my heart beats to a beat that I put my hope in / the love of my God pouring out." That type of lyrical punch can be found throughout this stellar send-off. 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."
"Yours" is an unashamed declaration of faith to God. 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.
"Praise the Lord" proclaims, "Praise the Lord, because in every moment, Jesus Christ is Lord!" Regardless of your circumstances, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. As the song asks, "Won't you praise the Lord? / There is grace for today / so praise the Lord." We need to remember that "in every moment / Jesus Christ is Lord."
The gorgeous new song "Honestly," the only never-before-heard track on this album, reminds worshipers that "honestly I need to be broken / of all that I have / all that I need is You." My favorite song by the band, "A City on a Hill," is based on the Beatitudes. I love knowing that in my brokenness, I am actually closer to God.
"Mountaintop" 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." "What I Want" lyrically opens with a great thesis statement for the whole album: "May my life speak louder than words / and what I'm saying is Jesus I'm sure / You're what I want."
The Church can all sing along 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 Jesus. Their megahit "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 Bottom Line: Benediction contains fourteen live renditions of upbeat worship songs that celebrate the musical journey of The City Harmonic. The songs are filled 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. I don't often hear an album that foundationally brings me back to when I wasn't a Christian, what I need to strip away from my religiosity and from my use of "Christianese" language. This selection of songs is a fitting farewell and benediction, sending out listeners to live out these songs.
Song to Download Now:
"Honestly" (Get it on Amazon here.)
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