My Rating: Add It To My Playlist! [4.4 / 5]
Benediction Live is The City Harmonic’s final album release before the band members branch out into different fields of ministry. The album contains some of the band’s most beloved songs, and it is intentionally named Benediction as a way of emphasizing the album's role as a send-off, rather than as a farewell.
“Praise the Lord,” a song that has been a fan favorite for years is an anthem and declaration of all the reasons we have to worship God. The song builds powerfully into the bridge as Elias sings, “You can sing it at the top of your lungs, like every moment is a song to be sung.” The song ends with some of my favorite lyrics ever from The City Harmonic: “There is grace for today, so praise the Lord.”
“Honestly” is a newly released track on the album, and it is a powerfully authentic song of surrender. Elias’s vocals and piano make the song simple but moving, and the chorus lyrics, “Of all that I have, all that I need is You - Honestly,” ring out powerfully against the simple instrumentation.
“Holy,” another fan favorite, brings with it new energy and power, which can only be found in a live recording. The song begins quietly with the question, “Oh death, where is your sting, ‘cause I’ll be here singing Holy is the Lord.” The song then erupts in rich sound as Elias sings the bridge, “Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty” joined by other voices, building until the music drops out and the crowd’s voices are all that remain.
While Benediction is sure to carry with it some mixed emotions because it is the band's final album, the concept and production of the album feel like the perfect way to celebrate the band’s journey. The live version of many The City Harmonic favorites maintains, and in some cases exceeds, the quality of their original, studio recordings. Whether you have been a long-time fan, or are hearing these songs for the first time now, this record is a beautiful and powerful collection of worship songs that serves as a high quality send-off.