Friday, October 8, 2010

Sixteen Cities: Your Love Is Review

Sixteen Cities is back with their second EP, Your Love Is. I was especially interested in hearing this EP for several reasons: For one, it is the last Sixteen Cities album to feature the great guitarist, Dustin Erhardt. Secondly, the band chose to cover some popular worship anthems, ensuring an enjoyable listen. Also, since the release of Sixteen Cities’ debut project, the band has been making a name for themselves with their current hit, “Sing Along.” I have enjoyed being a fan of the band since April’s release, and was eagerly expecting a follow-up project. And now it’s here with the six-song EP Your Love Is.

Your Love Is begins strongly with “Your Love Never Fails,” a refreshing upbeat track, reassuring the fact that “You stay the same through the ages/ Your love never changes/ there maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.” It was certainly the perfect song to start off the album with! Next off is a cover to Hillsong’s “Forever Reign,” a track that was sung by Jad Gillies on A Beautiful Exchange. It was interesting how lead singer Josiah Warneking sang low in the first verse, and then higher by the arrival of the second verse. Honestly, this version sounded extremely close to Hillsong’s, but I very much enjoyed hearing it from this band. I also enjoyed the background choir that appeared in this song and the others.

“Your Love Is Strong,” written by Jon Foreman, was the highlight of the album for it’s strength; therefore it was no surprise that the album was named after this track. The chorus was very full, and the highlight was the bridge that repeats the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew chapter 6. “The Stand,” an extremely worshipful song written by Hillsong United’s Joel Houston, follows. There is no way to listen to this song and not worship along! The band’s cover was very cool, especially the background guitar effects. I was very glad that Sixteen Cities chose to cover this track, and it was certainly a good effort.

“Everlasting God,” a famous Lincoln Brewster radio hit, was actually my favorite from the EP. I appreciated the cool rhythmic guitar sounds at the beginning and end of the track, as well as the gospel piano sound here and there. I have never been a huge fan of Lincoln, but I must say that this cover was outstanding! Finally, the EP closes with “Ready Now,” which leans on the slower side of things. A beautiful song about surrender, it boasts on behalf of the lead singer’s clear, crisp voice, a characteristic unique to Sixteen Cities. A definite hand-lifting provoker, the highlight was the simple, yet profound bridge: “Do what you will/I’m ready now!”  The half-hour EP was ended perfectly with this track.

As previously stated, I have been a fan of Sixteen Cities since their debut project in April. Therefore, I loved every single track at first listen, but would also add that Hillsong fans, in particular, will enjoy this release. Although it is a six-track EP, Your Love Is is one of the greatest worship projects I have heard. Go do yourself a favor and pick it up!

Rating: 5/5

Track listing:

     1. Your Love Never Fails
     2. Forever Reign
     3. Your Love is Strong
     4. The Stand
     5. Everlasting God
     6. Ready Now

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