Alive City – Welcome To Alive City


Release Date: February 17th 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Alive City– Welcome To Alive City (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. High Low
  2. Only Ever
  3. Hard Parts
  4. Candid Heart
  5. Fighting Myself
  6. Clear Now
  7. Lay ‘Em Down
  8. Coming Alive
  9. Safe
  10. High Low (Remix)

What happens when you mix worship, pop, rock, dance, CCM and rap together in a proverbial blender? Is it an artist with their own identity or an artist who is trying to please different groups of listeners? You be the judge. Because Alive City, who does dabble in worship, pop, rock, dance, CCM and rap; recently released their brand new album Welcome To Alive City this year. No seriously…they are another worship movement, similar to Hillsong Young And Free, and Planetshakers. I reviewed their previous EP (which has now been scrubbed from the internet for reasons unknown!); but by now you’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering ‘Is this band any good? Is it original or do they sound the same as any other worship band?’ Well, from listening to this 10 song album, I reckon Alive City is here to stay- even if they’re not as distinguishable as I would have liked to hear.

However, to be fair we have plenty of worship bands to make us feel good, like Leeland, Passion, Rend Collective, all incarnations of Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, and Elevation Worship, so what makes Alive City different, that makes us feel good while also making original music? Haven’t we been saturated with worship music over the past few years? Probably yes, but it’s always good for one more band to show us what they’re made of, as they give adoration and devotion to the Lord Most High. Formed in Detroit, Alive City may not be signed to a record label, yet it is the honesty and vulnerability of these inspiring batch of heartfelt and worshipful melodies make me appreciate the band all the more.

Can I appreciate an artists’ album without fully connecting with the songs for one reason or another. This is the case with Welcome To Alive City, as this album seems too ‘EDM’ for my liking. Alive City seemed to be going for the ‘corporate worship sound’ way back in 2017, but now that they’ve leaned more actively into the EDM scene, I’ve found myself to be more and more… disinterested? Apathetic? Feeling ‘meh’ to their music? Regardless, Welcome To Alive City frustrated me in parts and resonated with me in others. A number of songs, including “High Low”, “Hard Parts”, “Lay ‘Em Down” and “Clear Now”, seem overcrowded with music and EDM, and while the album on the whole is a solid project and a good advertisement for the band; it’s only a solid release that isn’t a ‘home run’ or ‘slam dunk’ like debut albums from Anne Wilson, Riley Clemmons or We The Kingdom. These songs are earnest, and the band is passionate about Jesus. But when everything is stripped away, how would I describe Alive City, musically? The answer is ‘I’m not sure’, even after countless listens to the album. They have inspiring lyrics, and a few tracks (“Only Ever”, “Candid Heart”, “Fighting Myself” and “Coming Alive”) stand out, yet musically there seems to be something lacking. That’s not to say that the band aren’t good. Lyrically, there’s some solid gold here, with biblical truths brimming and overflowing, and there’s no denying the passion and heart these guys have for Jesus. Yet there isn’t a ‘wow’ moment; although for a debut album, it’s ok; and here’s hoping that there will be more of a cohesive album in the coming years.

Alive City have presented to us 9 songs and 1 remix in Welcome To Alive City that are sure to be anthems in and of their own right. While the band may take some time in becoming as popular as many other worship movements (maybe the band will be signed, if that is what they feel God is moving them towards…), what I will say is this- this group from Detroit have much heart and fervent honesty, that it ought to be criminal not to be caught up in their infectious joy that is presented in these tracks. “Only Ever”, “Candid Heart”, “Fighting Myself” and “Coming Alive” form my favourite tracks of the release, and hopefully from listening to these songs, listeners will find out more about Jesus and more about themselves. This album isn’t perfect though, but no debut album is. And with that, let’s listen to these guys a bit more, because there’s no mistaking the joy and passion for Jesus that is overflowing here. Well done guys, I can’t wait for what is next in your musical future!

3 songs to listen to: Only Ever, Candid Heart, Coming Alive

Score: 3.5/5

RIYL: I Am They, Planetshakers, Worship Central, Rend Collective, Urban Rescue, Hillsong Young & Free

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