rctalk: Bluetree, ‘God of This City’

Bluetree is (l-r) Andy McCann (bass), Aaron Boyd (lead vocals/guitar), Pete Kernoghan (DJ) and Johnny Hobson (drums).

Bluetree is (l-r) Andy McCann (bass), Aaron Boyd (lead vocals/guitar), Pete Kernoghan (DJ) and Johnny Hobson (drums).

Review: Bluetree, God of This City

The rest of this story will not come from Paul Harvey, the Irish band in question is not U2, and you know the song, but it is not Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

God of This City became a Christian worship anthem last year through a compelling performance by Chris Tomlin on the 2008 Passion CD named after the tune and later on his Hello Love album. It became a logical chorus for churches seeking change the world around them:

Greater things have yet to come
Great things are still to be done
In this city

But learning the story of the song’s authors illuminates the lyrics. These were not just writers hoping to transform towns that struggle with crime, poverty and other problems. The song was inspired by the home of Irish worship leaders Bluetree: Belfast, a city used to almost casual violence in its ongoing civil strife. It was also inspired by and mostly written in Pattaya, Thailand, a notorious city with a flourishing prostitution industry. It was inspired by dark, dark places.

Writing the song brought Bluetree to the attention of Tomlin, and brought the band a recording contract that culminates with the release of the Bluetree’s U.S. debut today. God of This City doesn’t contain anything else quite as instantly catchy as the title song, but it is an extremely well thought out album from the opening about God’s voice breaking through the noise of our world, and the album grows on you with songs such as Each Day and Your Love.

Bluetree were clearly ready for their moment of discovery, and hearing the group for the first time, it sounds like it may be positioned to take up the mantle for Delirious as the longtime British worship leaders prepare to disband. Like those guys, and another band from Ireland that releases an album today, Bluetree is inspired and inspiring.

About that other Irish quartet: As always, though for the first time in blog format, I’ll weigh in on the faith side of U2′s new album soon. But for now, I commend Walter Tunis’ review of No Line on the Horizon to you.

Winter Jam: Watch later this week for a feature on Winter Jam headliner Tobymac and then Sunday for some photo-heavy coverage of the event at Rupp.

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