Release Date: April 7th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Exalt Your Name
- Look To The Son
- Nothing Worth More
- Satisfy (feat. Young Noah)
“…Our mission as musicians is to make music that break cultural barriers. We want to write songs that all people can worship too. Our songs are kind of like gumbo soup. You’re going to get a little of everything!…” Previously signed to Save The City Records, and releasing a solo album in 2015, titled City Love Music; Jonathan Singh, who leads Sugar Creek Baptist Church in worship, recently unveiled his new project and his new venture. Recently forming as a duo with his sister Kristina Plush, Jonathan is one half of the group citylovemusic, and the two siblings released their self-titled EP this past week. Let me tell you, you are in for a real treat, if you are a fan of artists like Parachute Band, Danny Gokey, Bethel Music and Kari Jobe. Brimming with enthusiasm, passion and excitement, these heartfelt and eclectic melodies are thoroughly enjoyable, even though a track list of 4 songs (and one radio version!) doesn’t really give us warm and fuzzy feelings. Though 4 tracks on the surface is quite short, citylovemusic remind us that they are here to stay, as they worship God with all of their heart and their entire beings. A release to reflect and dwell upon as we think about the cross and resurrection this Easter, the duo’s self titled EP deserves a listen, even if the album is over once we ‘get into the music’…
Opening the EP is the guitar led 6-minute inspiring ballad “Satisfy”, led by Jonathan. Eloquently singing to God, crying out to Him that ‘…Father we come with expectations, we know Your love will overcome all our burdens, there is power in Your name; forever Your kingdom will reign…Lord we offer up our lives, offer up our lives as a living sacrifice, only You can satisfy, You can satisfy every part of us…’, Kristina jumps in with backing vocals later on during the melody, and together with Jonathan, creates a powerful and compelling album opener reminding us that God is the only One who can and will satisfy our every need, in any and every circumstance. With the last few minutes of the song being spontaneous free worship, citylovemusic’s EP opener is a great track to worship Jesus along to, as we marvel at Jesus’ wondrous and endless qualities. A radio version of “Satisfy” is also included here as the EP closer, with the ‘free worship’ portion of the track shaved off, and Young Noah’s guest vocals as a rap included as well, giving the track added depth.
The remainder of the three songs are sure to inspire even the average person who may not be a fan of worship music. “Exalt Your Name”, the band’s official first single from the EP, features Kristina on lead vocals, and is a piano and strings focused slower tempo reflective ballad, basically praising God because of who He is. As Kristina ardently cries out ‘…oh Lord we exalt Your name, let the earth ever sing your praise, You’re the mighty King, let your justice reign over all, we exalt Your name…’, we are reminded of the sovereignty and faithfulness of our Father, Saviour and Friend, which should bring us comfort, peace and security at all times- God is in our corner even when we don’t feel it.
While the guitar led energetic dance/synth/rock/pop melody “Look To The Son”, led by Jonathan, inspires us to point our eyes to our Heavenly Father in all situations, and is a track that musically sounds like something that could be played in clubs or bars with the intention for people to dance to; yet it is the accessible and radio friendly piano led melody “Nothing Worth More” that is the highlight of the album in my opinion. With Kristina leading a track that could be a regular staple amongst Sunday morning setlists, we are eloquently reminded that ‘…when I’m broken, when I’m empty, when I’m lost, Jesus I will run to You… there’s nothing worth more; it’s Your name I will adore, Your love gives me life; Jesus I will run to You…’, and are thoroughly immersed in a brilliant offering set to have immense replay value in the future. Well done guys for a short but impacting EP that reminds us all why citylovemusic will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming months and years!
With Jonathan and Kristina’s parents migrating from Trinidad and Tobago a while ago to pastor a church of their own, the siblings grew up in the U.S. with a worshipful heart for Jesus, with shows immensely throughout these 4 (5) tracks. Rising stars in the making, citylovemusic is sure to be a household name and the duo everyone will soon be talking about in the months and years to come. With citylovemusic being one of my personal favourite EP’s in 2015; there’s nothing more that I can say about this album that hasn’t been said already. So let me just say this- go listen to some tracks. I guarantee you’ll like these honest, emotional, personal and transparent songs! Well done Jonathan and Kristina, I can’t wait to hear your sophomore album whenever it releases!
3 songs to listen to: Satisfy, Exalt Your Name, Nothing Worth More
RIYL: Leeland, Big Daddy Weave, Chris Tomlin, Tenth Avenue North, Jesus Culture, Zealand Worship