Prime Cuts: Welcome Home, I See Jesus, So Good
Overall Grade: 2.75/5
"Welcome Home" is CTZN Worship's attempt to capture their mother church's vision of creating a family that is not restricted to any social or economical or racial zip code. Each of these songs is supposed to capture a sliver of what this community looks like. In a way, the team has succeeded, as this record has an amicable accessibility especially if your musical taste leans towards EDM and pop-centric balladry. Moreover, the words of these 10 selections have eschewed the deep theological jargons opting rather for a more conversational flow.
"So Good" opens up the album to a good start. Beginning with the easy-sounding synth touches before escalating into a fully wash of clubby drum fills, "So Good" is an inviting anthem drawing us to the goodness of our God. "Moments" continue the bouncy electronic beats as the team invite us to enjoy our moments of worship with the Almighty. The ballads, likewise, are inviting. Most gorgeous is the title track "Welcome Home:" a reflective piano ballad that speaks of how the Cross has destroyed barriers of all kinds. Not bad too is the lead single "I See Jesus." With echoey synth reverbs making the song extra cool, "I See Jesus" squarely places Jesus at the center of all we do.
But the problem with this album is not the "welcoming" part of the album's titular. Rather, it's in the "home" compartment; if home is where our faith is nurtured, the lyrics mostly pander upon trite to super-trite platitudes that they don't foster much of a challenge to one's faith. There's nothing wrong in updating the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." But if you want to write new verses to it, then make sure you have something that matches up with the richness of the original hymn. Unfortunately, the team took the slothfully route and constructed new lines thought up when they were in the recording studio.
Moreover, if home is a place where you want to dwell; most of the songs don't hooks strong enough to draw us so that we can linger. Songs such as "Healing (In This Place)," "More," and "God with Us" don't have much melodic progressions. They sound more like spontaneous worship moments that go on and on and on. This increases the temptation for us to press the "next" icon. If you are really serious about creating a sonic home, then make sure there are reasons for us to stay.
Overall, there are some great moments on the record. But at the end of the day, "Welcome Home" lacks distinction from the hundreds of worship albums out there. It is well produced and well executed, but it's too vanilla to stand out as a worship record. Ultimately, it falls into the bin of those anonymous sounding worship albums created by those nameless mega churches.