Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: October 22nd 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Still Can’t Sleep On Christmas Eve
- Silent Night (Heavenly Peace) (feat. Dante Bowe & Maverick City Music)
- Light Of The World (Sing Hallelujah)
- Light Of The World (Sing Hallelujah) (Live)
- Christmas Day (feat. Chris Tomlin)
As I look around at all of the worship artists (solo and bands) out there; I’m left wondering. Are we in fact at worship saturation point? Well… quite possibly. It’s the point when a worship artist releases a new song, and then we all shrug our shoulders and go about our business- like we don’t really care anymore whether a worship artist releases something new or not. I know I have felt that many times with Planetshakers… but the point is that there is a time, maybe now or maybe into the future, whereby new bands come and they sing praises to Jesus, and we definitely aren’t as excited anymore. For me, worship saturation may be very applicable to some bands (like the aforementioned Planetshakers as well as Jesus Culture and Bethel Music!), however for this next ‘new’ band recently signed to Capitol Christian Music Group (and who won Dove Awards in 2020 and 2021), I’m definitely not at saturation point yet. Because We The Kingdom musically is something different. Similar to I Am They, Zach Williams, Passion, Rend Collective and The Crabb Family all rolled into one; the band comprises of songwriter Ed Cash and his family (brother Scott, children Franni and Martin as well as close friend Andrew Bergthold) and is probably the most energetic band since Rend Collective. I know, I know, it’s a bold statement, but one listen to their debut EP Live At The Wheelhouse and one or more watches of any of their live videos on Youtube will quickly change your mind. What will also change your mind is the group’s debut album Holy Water which released in August 2020.
Having reviewed this album last year, you can all read about it here. You can also check out my review of We The Kingdom’s deluxe edition of Holy Water, as well as Jon’s thoughts on the group’s latest live album. I’m positive that when you read everything positive that we have said about this worship band, then you’ll be in awe and amazed by Ed and co. as well, like I have. And thus, We The Kingdom is back this holiday season. A Family Christmas, a 6 track EP, released a couple of months ago. With Christmas being just around the corner, and the world in shambles right now because of the Omicron variant, we all indeed need Christmas now more than ever before. So, for one of the most passionate, enthusiastic worship bands right now, to deliver to us some heart-warming tunes and inspirational melodies about Jesus’ birth, to give us comfort and hope right now when we all so desperately need it; well I’d say that that is incredible and remarkable in its own right. A Family Christmas may be chock full of original Christmas songs, like Jason Gray’s Christmas Stories; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful and poignant. Sure, we may not know all of these songs, but the message of Jesus’ birth is still ever present, and inspires us to be the hands and feet of Jesus this Christmas.
Christmas is such a unique and special time of year. Though it’s filled with so much celebration, it can often be a very painful time for many. We lost our Dad/Grandfather last Christmas after a long battle with dementia. We are so thankful because of the hope of the manger that we will see him again. This album is all about not only the joy and celebration, but the reverence for the most beautiful story ever written that is a promise of Heavenly peace even in the struggle.
Opening with the exuberant and hard-hitting piano ballad “Still Can’t Sleep On Christmas Eve”, we are met with an honest and vulnerable depiction of how Christmas is for the Cashes. Relaying to us that ‘…we bundle up, the air is frosty, we gather family and friends, singing carols by the fire, there’s laughter in the air, I never, ever want this night to end, soon the clock will strike midnight, we’re full of candy canes and kettle corn, let’s get the children into bed, and find some mistletoe that will keep us busy ’til the morning…’, we are glimpsed into the wonderful traditions that make Christmas more homely; as we cherish our own traditions and our own families during this time. No matter what our feelings are surrounding the holidays, we all can admit that we need our families close right now… and this album opener encourages us to spend time with family within the coming days and weeks. “Glorious”, another original and an EP highlight, earnestly and fervently showcases Franni leading the track with superb brilliance, and worshipping God with immense passion, that ‘…Glorious, Glorious, God is here, it’s Christmas, Emmanuel, the Light has come, He is glorious…’; while the lone carol here is “Silent Night”, but this time with an added chorus, giving the track a modern twist. With the band collaborating with Dante Bowe & Maverick City Music, this updated carol fits nicely here and is a joy to listen to as we worship the baby boy in a manger. “Light Of The World” (also released as a live track on this EP too!), is a single from November 2020, and beautifully encapsulates the line between a worship song and a Christmas song- I can actually call this track both a worship song and a Christmas song! With We The Kingdom creating probably my favourite original Christmas song since Josh Wilson’s “Jesus Is Alive” and for KING & COUNTRY’s “Baby Boy”; how could you not worship and praise God this Christmas, with lyrics like these: ‘…sing Hallelujah, sing Hallelujah, sing Hallelujah for the things He has done, come and adore Him, bow down before Him, sing Hallelujah to the Light of the World…’– simple and yet effective. A Family Christmas then ends with the Chris Tomlin collaboration “Christmas Day”. Already released on Chris’s EP Miracle Of Love last year, this track isn’t re-recorded, so it’s a song we’ve heard already. However, the track still is a highlight and a solid worship anthem, as joy, celebration, passion and enthusiasm permeates throughout. And as We The Kingdom and Chris cry out ‘…sing all you people, the Lord almighty reigns, sing every creature of God, come bless His name, for He is good, for He is good, He was born to conquer the grave, light of the world, the reason for Christmas Day…’; we are encouraged to vibrantly sing out to Jesus with praise as well.
With nothing much more needing to be said about We The Kingdom and their debut Christmas project; this release is especially moving and inspiring, considering how all-original or mostly original Christmas albums can be hit (Jason Gray’s Christmas Stories) or miss (*NSYNC’s Home For Christmas). Songs like “Glorious”, “Christmas Day”, and “Light Of The World (Sing Hallelujah)” are personal album highlights; however every track has no discernible weaknesses in any aspect. So what are you all waiting for? A Family Christmas deserves 2, 3, 5, 10+ listens. My only issue? It’s too short! So how about I go away while you guys check out We The Kingdom? Alright, have you finished? What do you reckon?
3 songs to listen to: Glorious, Light Of The World (Sing Hallelujah), Christmas Day
RIYL: Jesus Culture, Passion, I Am They, Rend Collective, Crabb Family, Zach Williams