Extraordinary art is occasionally birthed out of journeys in the deepest valleys. And while we wish it were otherwise, one does not necessarily need to look too far to encounter a collapse in the church that shakes our faith. For Citizens & Saints, it was the fall of Mars Hill Church, the organization with which they have been so closely associated. Their latest release, A Mirror Dimly, was drawn out of wreckage of those events and explores the sharp distinction between faith and doubt.
The album generated a little buzz before its release on September 16, 2016, but now that it’s on the street, it’s picking up momentum. That piqued our interest, so we’ve gathered reviews (along with our own score) to give you a broader perspective on the reception of A Mirror Dimly.
A Mirror Dimly has been greeted with near universal acclaim. Granted, as of this writing, there aren’t many reviews to be found. Having said this, the album is getting a lot of play at Frequency. It’s fresh, invigorating, and passionate. Reviewers note that this isn’t a by-the-numbers worship release (and we’re all grateful for that). Rather, this is raw, real, and faith-affirming.
The melodic hooks are solid – memorable but not self-consciously clever or oversold. In many ways, the tone of the album is defined by the rhythm section of Adam Skatula (drums) and Nathan Furtado (bass). The grooves are straightforward and infectious. The oft-mentioned lyrics are not ornate but neither are they uninspired. They serve the songs well and avoid any eyeroll-inducing moments.
If the lack of musical diversity in modern worship is leaving you cold, give yourself a good Indie-rock faith punch with A Mirror Dimly. This album is for you.
Album: A Mirror Dimly
Artist: Citizens & Saints
Genre: Indie Rock, Worship
Label: Gospel Song Records
Release Date: September 16, 2016
“There is a genuine struggle at the heart of these lyrics, but there’s also a genuine and triumphant faith…. The band have emerged from hard times with what seems like a joyous faith that is stronger than ever.”Reel Gospel
“From beginning to end, A Mirror Dimly tells a beautiful story. The album’s variety, from calm and contemplative tracks to energetic, momentum-packed rock, keeps listeners engaged and supports the band’s eloquent lyrics.”The Christian Beat