Michael Gungor delivers his most artistically diverse album to date. Beautiful Things was self-produced and expands the horizons of Gungor's version of modern worship. All songs were written or co-written by Michael. The album features a guest appearance by Israel Houghton. This is alternative worship at its best.
"What we found in this couple [Gungor and his wife Lisa] were passionate, creative, humble and authentic disciples of Christ, true worshippers who are willing to do whatever it takes to truly follow Jesus. We are all the better for being exposed to this gift, and our hearts are stirred to change. I personally was challenged and refreshed to the core," said award-winning songwriter and Hillsong worship pastor, Darlene Zschech.
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The New Face Of Worship| Posted February 23, 2010
In an effort to focus their forward-thinking church music on an invitation to worship rather than the lead man's nomenclature, The Michael Gungor Band is now known as "Gungor." But it's only a reduction of name, not of personnel or production, as evidenced on their sophomore release.
Self-described as "liturgical post rock," Beautiful Things establishes the band as frontrunners in a new generation of worship music leaders, even in spite of Michael's steady foothold in the genre's recent history. He's co-authored the mega-worship hit "Friend of God" with gospel staple Israel Houghton, whose guest spot on "Heaven," a modern Motown jam, fits perfectly into Gungor's multifarious mix.
Referencing Sigur Ros-like creativity, Sufjan Stevens' instrumentation and the repetitive intensity that makes Matt Hales' (Aqualung) production so infectious, Michael's accessibly sweet vocal drives an eclectic psalm set musically distinctive from the Brit-Rock wash synonymous with "modern worship."
For instance, the title track's progressive energy is colorful enough to appease the dilettante but focused enough to pique a schooled indie hipster, evolving from a modest acoustic guitar to an all-out symphonic jam. "You Have Me" scripts a love song from the wayward to the Savior, prettied by a slow banjo and delicate string pizzicatos: "I've wandered Heaven's gates/I've made my bed in hell/You were there still//You have my heart," while "Cannot Keep You" explores the infinite mysteriousness of God, contending: "We cannot keep you in a church/We cannot keep you in a Bible . . .Who is like the Lord?"
"Please Be My Strength" beautifully beckons: "I pray your glory shines/Through this doubting heart of mine . . . Please be my strength/I don't have anymore," over a crackly guitar and droning mellotrone.
Self-produced in a home studio, Beautiful Things combines the bigness of a Coldplay show with the intimacy of an Iron & Wine recording, a beautiful juxtaposition that quietly lures the listener into the lyrics while prompting the body to move. Some tag this spiritual experience as some sort of musical "enlightenment." Others simply call it worship. -Andrew Greer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
A Unique Take on Worship| Posted October 09, 2012
Gungor does in Beautiful Things what I feel no band has done before: combine a love of worshipping God through song with advanced, intricate, and technical musicianship. Their instumentation is creative and revolutionary, combinng the natural sound of leaves and branches with the classic beauty of a cello. "Dry Bones," "Beautiful Things," and "The Earth is Yours" are amazing songs unparalled in Christian music today.
Epic| Posted February 24, 2010
Between DC*B and Gungor (aka The Michael Gungor Band), there is new brand of worship on the horizon. Experimental, edgy, eclectic, moody, atmospheric, moving, are just a few words that could describe both bands type of worship music. "Beautiful Things," is worship music like I have never heard it. I truly enjoyed this CD. If I had to chose a favorite (which is hard) I would have to choose "Dry Bones," "People of God," "Late I Have Loved You," "Cannot Hold You," and the title track; but again there is not a dud on here. Truly enjoyable.