All right, this post is both a confession and a shameless, unabashed plug for a couple bros.
For the most part, I stopped listening to Christian music a really long time ago. Most of it, IMO, was cliche and uninteresting to me. It got worse when it came to “worship music.” Again, IMO, the Christian music industry juggernaut put so much pressure on guys to put out fresh “product” that, inevitably, the quality and originality of the product suffered. Honestly, how many of us have shed a silent tear or two listening to 3 chord songs recorded in a sterile studio that go something like this:
God you are worthy
All the angels bow down
You’re the king of heaven
And I give you my heart, again
Anyway, I sort of stopped listening. So it is with incredible enthusiasm that I recommend to you “The Brilliance“, which goes on sale tonight at midnight. Do yourself a favor and download it as soon as you get the chance.
The lead singer for the band, David Gungor, writes:
…Last year my soul was very tired. I was tired of most Christian music sounding the same. I did not like it. And I would not have thought I wanted to do any kind of worship album.
Last Spring I had the wonderful opportunity to go to New York and hear my brother-in-law play at Carnegie Hall. It was wonderful and so inspiring. My wife Kate, (who played viola on the record) and my brother-in-law Joshua inspired me to make this record.
I wanted to make a Christian record that was constructed in a fresh way. I had an idea to base a record around a string quartet and piano, and then build around that.
I called John Arndt, and asked if he could produce the record, and do the string arrangements. He challenged me and brought out the best of the music.
We recorded in Denton TX, Tulsa OK, Denver CO, and NYC. After a lot of hard work, energy, money, and time, we have finished.
This record was a dream come true for me. So many wonderful friends, and amazing musicians and wonderful friends helped along the way.
In the end, we accomplished what we set out to do. We made a record that we are proud of and hope that you enjoy.
They’ve actually done more than that. The music and arrangements are so fresh and original… but what’s more, they’ve actually put together songs that are lyrically rich, deeply theological, and congregationally accessible. In other words, you can sing these songs in church, not feel like they suck, and find your imagination shaped and broadened at the same time.
David is a good friend of mine and has always been like a brother to me, and John, who helped him write and arrange most of the songs, is my actual brother. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. So go, buy the record.
(Shameless plug now complete. David, you owe me a sesame chicken at Spicy Basil.)