20 September 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Gungor Gets Five Stars

Every so often I get emails asking if I want an album to review.  I often say no.  Partially because it’s just not what I want my blog to be all about.  Partially cause one of the things that drives me nuts about ‘Christian music’ (aside from the delineation in the first place, but that’s another post) is that it is just often sub-par.  (We do keep up better in music than in movies, but again, a whole different post.)

But when I got an opportunity to review the new Gungor album, Ghosts Upon The Earth (released today, 9/20), and have some giveaways (hint, hint…foreshadowing) I jumped on it.  Some of you may remember me posting about the first time I heard Gungor.  They play “liturgical post-rock” and blew me away as great musicians with great music and an incredible presentation.  So….after a such a great album before, I must admit I was a bit concerned that I might be disappointed, that they may not be able to live up to it.

I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case.

The day I got the CD, I jumped in my car to go some where and popped the disc in as soon as I could.  Right off the bat the album opened with beautiful, haunting guitar and piano notes, the female vocal adding the perfect added layer, followed by a choir building in.  I knew with half a minute that I was gonna dig it.  I love Gungor’s use of orchestration and interesting, progressive instrumentation.  Also, I’m not sure if they intentionally through compose their albums, but it is amazing how it all fits together and should really be listened to straight through as an entire movement.

One of the things I enjoy about Gungor is the use of great lyrics that communicate an abstractness that pushes envelopes of the typical, that are poetic, and that seem to contain an inherent depth.  The second song, Brother Moon, opening with some cool sounding woodwinds, “Brother Moon, shine down you light on us tonight / show us the love of God / Sister Sun, you bring out the day / you shine in the light of God on your face today…” and building to the chorus – “In you we live, in you we move, in you we have our being…”

Anyway, I’ll spare you going song by song, but there were a couple highlights for me as I listened through the album several times over the past week.  Church Bells is this haunting lullabyesque sounding proverb that forces me to stop and listen everytime, sometimes skipping back to the front of the track to take it in again.  “Let church bells ring / let children sing / even if they don’t know why let them sing / Why drown their joy / stifle their voice / just because you’ve lost yours.”  Love songs that make me think, and I must admit, I feel like each time I listen to this song I’m confronted with my own jadedness.
It then transitions perfectly into a tension filled opening of Wake Up Sleeper, a more prophetic proclamation of the Kingdom type of song – “Rejoice all you who are poor / the Kingdom is yours / the kingdom is yours / Rejoice you jaded and torn / both sinner & saint for the Kingdom is yours / Woe to you religious teachers rich and worshipping your book / woe to you who use His name to justify the souls you took / Wake up…”  video below

Finally, the end of the album builds to a very hope filled sound and heart, the highlight for me being You Are The Beauty.  The upbeat traditional folk sort of sound is awesome, with a killer banjo.  Kinda reminds me of an upbeat Irish bar song and is a celebration of creation and beauty.  Makes me wanna dance.

The Bottom Line

I love the versatility of Gungor and all the different types of songs that come in this one album.
They did a great job having that same sound I loved from the last album, but not being a copy of it at the same time.
The lyrics are inspiring, the artistry is impressive, and musicianship and instrumentation is crazy interesting and fun to listen to.
I wouldn’t call their music super accessible for most churches to use in a worship context, but that’s not really what I’m looking for these days.  I prefer listenability and musicianship.  (I realize those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but often times they are right now.)
Honestly, the first album I’ve heard in a while that I don’t have any sort of critiques or anything negative to say about.
Just go buy it…


I have 2 copies to give away!
I’m trying to get more in the habit of blogging, but it’s not that I’m so back on it that I just wanna drive a ton of traffic here.
So let’s try and do something useful.
It’s always nice to have some good music, and discover good stuff.

Leave a comment here or on the FB link to this post and let us know what you’re listening to that we need to hear.
Better yet, if it’s on YouTube or anything, leave us a link.
Any genre, any style, just give us all some stuff to check out and enjoy.
You have until 7am tomorrow morning.
I’ll pull some names from that pool of people tomorrow morning.
Then the rest of you can go buy it.

What new music are you digging on right now that we need to check out?




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