Review: Citizens


At the beginning of 2013 news came out that there was a new partnership between Mars Hill Church and BEC Recordings. This debut album from Citizens is the first full-length album to come out under this partnership. Citizens are just one of the 35 worship bands that come from the 14 Mars Hill campuses in 4 states.

This self-titled release brings a sound that isn’t common to your Sunday morning worship set. With indie rock style and an unmistakable passion for Christ, Citizens may just be the most surprising release of 2013.

Front man Zach Bolen will be the first to tell you that he never wanted to be a worship pastor. After getting connected with a local church while at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), he saw the need for leadership that was passionate for the Word of God. The band was formed after being added to the staff at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. They take their name from Paul’s writing in Ephesians 2:19, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”.

The driving guitars and electronic beats create a worship experience that is anything but ordinary. Citizens is a great blend of original music with new twists on hymns like “I Surrender All” and “Praise to the Lord”. It’s difficult not to get excited with tracks like “Sweetness of Freedom” and “Hail the King” as they proclaim the amazing love of God.

There’s an escalation to the music that invites the listener into a worship experience that can happen anywhere. The intensity of worship can be heard on every track of this album as they tell of the incredible grace of God. Tracks like “Made Alive” and “Jesus!” are written almost as rally cries that the church body needs to hear.

The most exciting part of this release is that there’s a new generation of worship artists that are using God given creativity to speak the truth of Christ in new ways. Citizens is a release that you don’t want to pass up. Do yourself a favor and purchase it from Amazon or iTunes today. It’s an engaging worship album that is sure to drive a new generation of musicians to write of the glory of our Father.

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    • About the Author
    • avatar
    • Ryan Gutowski
    • Husband, Dad, artist and lover of the hot wing. Ryan and his wife Erin founded Collision in 2008 as a ministry for twentysomethings who felt left behind by the church. You can reach him at

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