Driven by a passion to share a dynamic message and fueled by an energetic, pop/rock sound, what began nearly ten years ago as a high school worship team has now regenerated into the fresh, eclectic sound of Warr Acres. Warr Acres, as evidenced by its lyrics and music, is inspired by the life and ministry of Victory Church and leadership of Pastor Mark Crow, reflecting a mission to inspire believers worldwide to reach a city, change a nation, and touch the world.
Warr Acres is also a new beginning. Previously VMusic, the name under which six full length albums of original worship music—including 2 in Spanish—were released, this group continues to push the envelope with its pop-infused melodies and mission-driven messages.
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Warr Acres| Posted September 06, 2011
Emerging from Oklahoma City's Victory Church comes new worship band Warr Acres's self-titled debut album. Warr Acres is layered with dance pop sounds, rock strokes, & ranging vocals. The album is overly fun and yet a true worship experience.
The record starts off with the electric 80s pop rock "Undignified." The song reminds the worshipper that he/she was created for God's glory, and Him alone. We were created for You and His glory."Sound the Alarm" comes with even stronger pop infused glimmer whose vocal arrangements evokes a Rhianna/Katy Perry feel. This is quite invigorating and unexpected, and for a younger audience serves as a bewildering treat. The track's content is strong to the church to take up and take action and be the "soldiers and saints" bringing light to the darkest of places and being the voice for the voiceless. The song's central theme of social justice is textured in this fast track that keeps people off their feet and prompts them to dance in streets by putting their faith into action.
In a much slower pace comes the orchestral/string arranged "You Are My Joy." The lyrics beautifully accompany the already soothing music which are life breathing and reminds us that when one goes through storms, God promises to never leave His children alone. "Maker of Miracles" swiftly comes in a calm pace, yet still carrys a pop texturized beat. The song declares that Christ is still is a "maker of miracles", giving sight to the blind and healing the broken hearted. "Hymn of Remembrance" carries the traditional old fashioned hymn sound decorated with light church organs and accompanying vocals that remember God's great unconditional love that is timeless.
"Shout Your Love" breaks in abrupt array, with a somewhat rock country fused energy, both musically and vocally. As the title suggests, the worship anthem declares shouting God's love to all that will listen, and telling the "whole world" and praising Him "without conditions."
Coming with strong frenzy energy, the dance pop track "Heaven Bound" is reminiscent to Lady Gaga. Lyrically, the song revolves around meditating on what awaits those who put their complete trust in Jesus. "To dwell in paradise with you forever for all eternity we'll be together."
"Saviour, Crucified" soothes the dance album, yet it's still carries its foundation in a solid pop sound. The track talks about the ultimate sacrifice with penetrating lyrics of us being the very ones who were the nails that were placed in His hands and feet. The song doesn't just end there but brings about the power of the Resurrection.
Musically similar to the previous, "Hold To This Truth" calls worshippers to fix their eyes on a "vital truth" that "His Love made a way", giving life and peace to all who believe.
"Shadow of the Steeple," starts with church bells and transcends to pop/rock. The words are clear, that as Christians we are commanded to serve and love others. The track is an epitome of the album's intent, putting faith into action and reaching the lost, living a radical life of a true worshipper, not just by song.
The last track "Our God Reigns" is rightly placed, ending in a distant sound imbuing a folky "worship" appeal. The song ends glorifying Him and His eternal reign.
For most ears, worship music has become a stylistic genre. Warr Acres changes all of this, as Chris Crow of the group states, "This isn't your normal worship sound, but yet God is so glorified throughout it that you can't help but enter in to His prescence!" The album does exactly that--breaks musical barriers and creates a worship atmosphere, not only in song and voice, but in hands and feet. Warr Acres can best be described as a mixture of Worth Dying For (Modesto,CA) and Planetshakers meets mainstream pop, yet still has a unique prescence. Warr Acres is able to step out of the common and expectant delving into a new territory with riveting aplomb and energy.
Warr Acres: "Warr Acres" Review| Posted September 13, 2011
Signed with Dream Records, Warr Acres are a new pop/rock worship group currently based in Oklahoma City, OK., but originally from a town of the same name. What began nearly ten years ago as a school worship band then became the successful worship team VMusic, and has now regenerated into the fresh, eclectic sound of Warr Acres. The dynamic message that the band has to offer is inspired by their weekly worship ministry at Victory Church, lead by Pastor Mark Crow. The band's self-titled debut album is filled with energetic and catchy pop/rock tunes and beautiful vocals from Kristy Starling, that are perfectly suited to youth groups and churches everywhere.
The album kicks off with the anthemic "Undignified", a fun and worshipful track that encourages Christians to worship God with wholeheartedness and passion. "We won’t, won’t stop shouting/Can’t stop our feet from moving/We don’t care who’s watching/We’re undignified." Listeners who are fans of fellow Dream label mates Press Play will love this song, as it features modern dance music and synthesizer effects. The following song "Sound The Alarm" maintains a similar sound, as it is an anthem that speaks of bringing light to the hopeless of the world.
For the next two songs "You Are Joy" and "Maker of Miracles", the album kicks back into a pop/contemporary style and the electronic sounds are less prevalent. The passionate vocals displayed in the latter of these two songs is very enjoyable. "Maker of Miracles" reminded me of a track by Natalie Grant, with its slow tempo and booming drums, as it acknowledges that Jesus still has the power to perform miracles in our world today.
"Hymn of Remembrance" is a powerful song that features beautiful strings, as the lyrics reflect on the great faithfulness of God, and His ultimate sacrifice on the cross. "Hallelujah, rejoice my soul/Your unfailing love, forever/My deliverer, my strength, my rock/Your great faithfulness I remember." The melody of this slow ballad makes it sound like a classic hymn. The upbeat "Shout Your Love" picks up the pace of the album, as it features an edgy guitar riff and funky electronic beats throughout the entire song. This is the most aggressive song off the album, and sure to become a fan favourite in the Warr Acres community.
Musically, the first single "Heaven Bound" is the best that the album has to offer. Featuring pounding drums, synth keyboards and auto-tuned vocals from Lael Louthan, this upbeat song describes the overwhelming joy that we as Christians will feel as we arrive in heaven. Warr Acres slows down proceedings again with "Saviour, Crucified". Lyrically, its nothing that we haven't heard before in the worship scene, nevertheless it beautifully describes the selfless sacrifice of Jesus.
Starling's vocals are truly displayed in "Hold To This Truth", an upbeat pop ballad that provides strength to believers in times of struggle. "Shadow of the Steeple" opens up with church bells before transitioning into a pop/rock tune. The lyrics resonate the message of the album; putting our faith into action and reaching out to the lost. Warr Acres concludes with "Our God Lives" , a song that opens with soft vocals from Jared Nix before gradually building up into a passionate choral anthem.
The debut self-titled album from Warr Acres certainly doesn't reflect the stylistic nature of the worship genre! The band has put a mainstream pop flavour into worship music, and that has worked well in this case. The convicting message of the album is encouraging for all listeners, both believers and non-believers. The immense vocal talent of Kristy Starling was very enjoyable. This album doesn't offer musical genius, however it does offer a diverse range of sounds that are often missing from modern worship music, and it's definetley one of the stronger releases from Dream Records. Fans of bands such as Planetshakers and Worth Dying For should not hesitate to give this album a thorough listen!