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Ghosts Upon the Earth - Gungor

Ghosts Upon the Earth is an album you need to listen to. Today. And tomorrow. It is an album through-and-through [as opposed to the normal collection of hopeful singles]. It is an album whose songs are so much more than simply serving as a vehicle for lyrics. Perhaps most importantly, Ghosts Upon the Earth is not simply a poor imitation of what one might hear on secular radio stations - it is at once authentic, faithful, engaging, and transformative.

A little background. In a recent blog post, Michael Gungor, responding in part to the bland, cookie-cutter (and perhaps trite) nature of some contemporary Christian music wrote the following:

Nobody goes to an art gallery and says, “boy, that painting is so creative.” Why? Because it’s art! Of course it’s creative! Why else would it be there? It’s very nature is creativity. Or like Lisa pointed out to me today, “that would be like saying, I love your house, it’s so architectural.”

But when someone in the Christian industry actually takes their art seriously, everybody is like “holy crap, listen to how creative it is!”

It’s like a person that’s been living among zombies for years seeing an actual human being and exclaiming, “wow, look at how clean her face is! She doesn’t even have any blood on it or anything!”

I’m not slamming the people that describe our music as creative. I appreciate the kindness that’s behind the words, but it does make me sad that the idea of creativity is so foreign to our industry that we have to actually point it out when someone actually sees the art as art and not zombie propaganda. Ok, that might have been a little much. But I like the sentence so I’ll leave it.

I couldn't agree more - the music found on Ghosts Upon the Earth is obviously creative - but that's not the point. Rather, the draw for this listener is the authenticity that is so apparent when one listens to and engages with this album. The music is not simply a vehicle for tired phrases and an audience all-to-eager to raise their hands - it is an album that challenges the listener to not only re-imagine their engagement with worship music [and to subsequently be challenged, affirmed, and comforted by this engagement], it also points to the importance of music that is authentic and organic to one's own worship context.

While it is perhaps challenging to imagine a band of amateurs playing many of the songs on Ghosts Upon the Earth, it is not impossible to imagine the way in which the music on this album could in fact challenge and change the way a congregation understands its engagement with popular contemporary Christian music, liturgy, and worship practices in general.

That being said, I'm curious as to where the intersection with this music and the average congregation lies - will it simply be recognized as the beautiful/creative/different [and subsequently appreciated but also dismissed], or is there potential for the music found therein to work [read: engage, transform, interact with others] inside a corporate worship setting?

As Michael Gungor himself recently stated, throughout Ghosts Upon the Earth the collective that is Gungor "...tried to make an album that should be listened to..." so that people might have their minds and hearts opened. While I would wholeheartedly agree that this is indeed the case, one wonders [hopefully] what other levels of engagement might be possible with this album - how might congregations large and small be transformed through/alongside this musical offering?

I don't think the above question has negative implications. Rather, the music of Gungor perhaps forces/encourages a congregation to re-imagine the way in which worship music and liturgy intersect - perhaps not all music inside of a worship service needs to be accessible in the sense that it is singable by all present - perhaps alternative worship settings and/or emerging church congregations would testify to the multitude of ways in which music can flourish inside of a worship setting while at the same time engaging those present on different levels both communally and individually.

Certainly music can play a central role in times of communal art work, contemplation, prayer and throughout multi-sensory worship experiences. Perhaps this latest offering from Gungor will, in a unique way, serve as a catalyst for congregations to reclaim and rearticulate just how music can play into and shape worship experiences. In this sense, Gungor's music is truly creative in a way that far surpasses what fans and critics have previously articulated.

Track Downloads: Ghosts Upon the Earth

1. Let There Be

Let There Be - Ghosts Upon the Earth | Let There Be - Amazon MP3 Download

2. Brother Moon

Brother Moon - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Brother Moon - Amazon MP3 Download | Sheet Music icon

3. Crags and Clay

Crags and Clay - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Crags And Clay - Amazon MP3 Download | Sheet Music icon

4. The Fall

The Fall - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | The Fall - Amazon MP3 Download

5. When Death Dies

When Death Dies - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | When Death Dies - Amazon MP3 Download

6. Church Bells

Church Bells - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Church Bells - Amazon MP3 Download

7. Wake Up Sleeper

Wake Up Sleeper - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Wake Up Sleeper - Amazon MP3 Download

8. Ezekiel

Ezekiel - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Ezekiel - Amazon MP3 Download

9. Vous Etes Mon Coure (You Are My Heart)

Vous êtes mon cœur (You Are My Heart) - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Vous Etes Mon Coure - Amazon MP3 Download

10. This Is Not the End

This Is Not the End - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | This Is Not The End - Amazon MP3 Download | Sheet Music icon

11. You Are the Beauty

You Are the Beauty - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | You Are The Beauty - Amazon MP3 Download

12. Every Breath

Every Breath - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) | Every Breath - Amazon MP3 Download


Download the Album: Ghosts Upon the Earth

Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition) - Gungor

 

 

 

 

 

 

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