ALBUM REVIEWS BY EDITORIAL STAFF
LOVE IS A LION www.citizen-way.com
A L B U M S
B U Y N OW
hen Citizen Way released their debut album in 2013, they checked all the boxesâ€”solid songs, tight sound, strong vocals. Love is a Lion, their third album, reveals a band that has maintained their focus and optimism even after what they have described the toughest season in their lives. Not any lyrical or music surprises, but all are solidly constructed songs, many of which can translate to a worship setting with minimal instrumentation or production. "The Lord's Prayer" is an uptempo take on the familiar words straight out of Matthew 6:9-13. This could be an incredibly useful tool to help young people learn and keep precious scripture like this in their minds and hearts. "Love Has Won" is a beautiful piano-driven song of hope. A standout lyric comes in the second verse: "That's why He gave us this family / With a promise that nothing can break." It's a
lovely reminder that our isolationism doesn't define us, nor are we overcome by our challenges. Sonically, it's similar to a Five for Fighting vibe, infectious and likable. "Mountains," "Peace Like a River" and "The Hope Song," are pop-infused anthems that echo with personal battles the band members have waged in their own lives, and the hope and strength that they found in Christ to carry them through. With reminders of God's sovereignty and faithfulness, each of these songs is uplifting and encouraging. "God You Are Good" is a standout track that would fit well within a corporate worship setting. Lyrics like: "You've always been faithful / So I'll just be still / No matter how bad this feels / Your peace is perfect." There's a relatable charm to the simplicity of the word choice. Sometimes, we all feel bad and it's nice to have songs that can be vehicles for both our emotions and our faith.
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One of the most impactful elements of this project is the artwork. The image of the lion connects to the Love Is A Lion title track which is infused with energy and power, and immediately brings to mind C. S. Lewis's iconic Aslan, from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. "Be Still" is stunning. It's simplicity and, relatively, spare production allows truth to soar in an uncomplicated fashion that could easily become a special part of any worship service. Overall, this is a solid showing from Citizen Way, though it teeters on the edge of generic, at times. The only fear is that some of these great songs might get lost, among others, with similar or identical titles. It would be a shame for the craftsmanship Ben Calhoun, and the rest of the band pours into their music to not be heard simply because the titles are lost in the shuffle.