Friday, June 1, 2012

Love is Making a Way - Sixteen Cities




Love is Making a Way expresses the simplicity and childlike charm of the love found in God.

Love is Making a Way
Artist: Sixteen Cities (www.sixteencities.com)
Label: Centricity Music
Length: 10 tracks/34:58 minutes

Some music is dark, depressing and even cynical. It can be filled with anger and angst, and to a degree that may be an appropriate expression at times. However, a steady consumption without resolve is probably not a healthy choice for most people.

One thing I appreciate about Love is Making a Way by Sixteen Cities is the hopeful outlook. Love is an obvious theme. To dwell in God is to know love. Living in love gives rise to hope. Thus you have the inspiration for many of these songs.

The title song, which is the first single, starts with acoustic strumming, a chorus of “oh’s” and a slightly off-kilter drum rhythm. Lead vocalist, Josiah Warneking, begins to sing over the background of a soaring synth that has a life of its own. Right there they have me even before the catchy, winsome chorus.

The love they sing of is illustrated on the cover by a heart-shaped collage showing jumbled maps of different states. It is highly appropriate given that love can be difficult. It can be hard to find and easy to lose your way. Though there are many twists and turns, Love is Making a Way points us to the simplicity and childlike charm of the love found in God.

It expresses itself in worship as on “Glorious” and has a swift rock-edge on “All Around the World.” “Mercy (Fall on Me)” takes an introspective turn recalling the promise that God’s mercies are new every morning.

The last three songs, “Walk on Water,” “I Need You” and “Consume Me,” are my favorite stretch. These are more acoustic and contain some of the strongest melodies. They are pleasantly engaging.

On the downside, I found myself longing for more artistry, particularly in the use of words and phrases. It reminds me of when I first heard Rich Mullins. Not everyone can write like he did, but I remember the joy of discovering a Christian artist that wrote like a poet.

Lead singer Warneking has a great voice and has at least a co-write on every song. He gets help from several others including Jason Ingram on “Consume Me,” which may be the best song of all.

There are several producers that work on different tracks. The music is tight and the production is clean. 

This is a solid release for Sixteen Cities. In a world characterized by darkness, it’s encouraging to hear these godly affirmations and desires. 
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