Seekers of authentic worship music, seek no further – Gungor may not conform to a genre, but their albums are the honest musical expression of this Denver-based group who see our world as a beautifully complicated place.
If you’ve never heard of Michael Gungor, you will know him through some of his worship compositions – ‘Beautiful Things’, ‘Friend of God’ & ‘Say So’ (the last two co-written with his friend, Israel Houghton). He is recognised in the secular music industry, the son of an American Evangelical Pastor, a worship leader and a founding member of Bloom Church.
This live album is somewhere in between a ‘worship service’ and a ‘live gig’. The band put on ‘Beautiful Things Events’, where everything was stripped away leaving just the music and the crowd. And ‘A Creation Liturgy’ is a collection of recordings from these events. Michael described these times as deeply spiritual moments: “Music doesn’t have to fit the mould to move people’s hearts, and at the end of the day, that’s really what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make honest music that opens people’s hearts.”
The opening track changes its rhythm and melody more than a Radiohead track. While the next song, ‘Heaven’, is what worship would sound like if Eric Clapton was leading. There are some truly beautiful moments throughout thanks to a six-person string section, some sensational harmonising vocals and spoken poetry to a musical backdrop. And to finish, Michael asks the crowd to sing the Doxology!
Simple, profound and creative, this album is entirely different to what Christian ears are used to (rigid, samey songs that fit the cookie cutter). And for that, I love it! But most of all I love that Gungor’s music is creating a bridge for Evangelical Protestants and Catholics to cross and appreciate what each other have to offer.
March 26th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood