Prime Cuts: We Are Yours, Amen, Here's My Heart
Two doses of pop, two slices of folk, one pinch of acoustic worship mixed with that a sprinkle of creativity blanched with lots of prayer and you get the sound of I Am They. In a milieu of recycled worship music where same-ness seems to be standard recipe, I Am They's debut album is a tantalizing gourmet. Each and every song on this record seems to have individuality that makes this album stand a foot above the average worship record out there. Comprising of six members with five of them coming from different churches, I Am They is a team of church men and women with a fervent passion for the church and her worship. And it shows on this eponymous debut album released under the Essential Records/Provident Distribution imprint. These 10 newly crafted originals, with shades of sonic resemblances to All Sons and Daughters and Rend Collective, are all God-besotted songs crafted to resource the church at large.
Few groups, if any, will have their moniker end with a pronoun. As intriguing as their name is, so is the inspiration behind it. In a recent review with Hallels, the band noted that their appellation came about in their reading of John 17 when Jesus was praying for his disciples. Throughout what is commonly referred to as Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Jesus offered referred to his disciples as "they." In aspiring be such disciples, the band have called themselves "I Am They." Already making its headway into many Christian radio's playlists is the lead single "From the Day." A simmering sunny pop delight, "From the Day" celebrates the joy of what it means to be a Christian. Interweaving Biblical threads from Rev. 22:1-5 and Isaiah 55:11, this song gives praise to how God has plucked us out of the darkness via his Son's death and resurrection.
Drawing from the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3 and Romans 1, "We Are Yours" traces God's ownership on our lives in its variegated ways. If you are ever in doubt our worth before the Creator, "We Are Yours" is the panacea. Birthed out of a time when lead singer Adam Palmer was in the mire of despair and the verge of suicide, "Over and Over Again" with its huge crashing chorus has a heartfelt autobiographical spin reminding us of how relentless God is in our pursuit of us. "King of Love," finds Stephanie Kulla taking lead, calls to mind Rend Collective with its incorporation of the rustic sounds of banjo and acoustic guitar. Again Kulla is a tour de force in the pop-ballad "Amen" where she bares her soul before God.
And when the tempo gets strip to its bare essentials, the soft guitar driven prayer, "Here's My Heart" is worship in its intimate best. Just as unusual as their name is, this record too will get us thinking, listening and grasping upon its themes and messages.