Title: Warr Acres
Artist: Warr Acres
- Sound The Alarm
- You Are Joy
- Maker of Miracles
- Hymn of Remembrance
- Shout Your Love
- Heaven Bound
- Saviour, Crucified
- Hold To This Truth
- Shadow of The Steeple
- Our God Lives
Review: Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love music – and especially how much I love Worship. From the hymns of old that stir the passions and build a solid bedrock, to the intimacy of a Vineyard album, to the all out big style of Hillsongs – and about everything in between (well, with one or two notable exceptions)
I got sent this album to review for the Cross Rhythms website, along with three others, and listened to it pretty soon after opening the jiffy bag.
Just so you’re aware, I hadn’t heard of this band and had done no research at the point of my first hearing it so I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t anticipating the sounds that burst out, nor the depth of the lyrics that accompanied them.
It didn’t take long to dig out a wealth of information on the group, they’ve got quite a presence in the States and are actually the worship band formerly known as VMusic from Victory Church in Warr Acres, Oklahoma (hence the name). With the addition of some new members, a tweak to a more pop/rock sound, and a more “commercial” image they have recreated themselves as this eclectic mix of tunes with worship still at the core.
When I say”commercial”, that isn’t a negative remark – please don’t get me wrong there! But they’ve shifted from the stage based worship leading image that you see in the VMusic videos on YouTube to the very dramatic and quirky-mainstream style that is visible on their video for Undignified (see the HD link at the top of this article, or the lower res video at the bottom)
So we have here a band that has re-imagined itself, kept it’s core heart of worship oriented music and launched this collection of songs – some that were previously recorded with VMusic and others that are brand new. What is the end result of this?
One word sums it up – WOW!
Seriously, this is a brilliant album that mixes up inward, upward and outwardly focussed lyrics to both build faith, praise our Creator and challenge us to get off our blessed assurances and look beyond the four walls of our churches.
“Undignified” is a rousing opener that leaves you in no doubt as to the passion of the band. The vocals are provided by Dove Award nominee Kristy Starling and the lyrics are a bold declaration of praise and worship. If this song doesn’t get your toes tapping and your head bouncing then you’ve probably not got the volume turned up as there is no way this song can be enjoyed as a passive listener.
“Maker of Miracles” is a wonderful ballad style song but with an uplifting chorus. The words pick up on the life and words of Christ, as well as His promises, bringing a real sense of majesty, awe and hope as the duet of Kristy along with Lael Louthan rings out and surrounds you with a sense of the majesty of the King.
With its catchy and somewhat retro beat, “Heaven Bound” is a great pop track – but don’t make the mistake of dismissing it as a jaunty bubblegum tune as the songwriting passions cut through once again full of scriptural roots, uplifting visions of eternity and the ever-present thick vein of worship that runs through this whole collection of songs.
I could go on and on about the tracks, they are all worthy of mention, but the one I really do need to mention is “Shadow of the steeple”. This is a call to action that leaves you in no doubt of what our call is – to get out and be Jesus to the people around us, on the streets, in our neighbourhoods and in the communities that we live in. Those comfy chairs in our churches suddenly feel rather itchy, those pews are definitely growing thorns as you take in the words of this brilliant song.
I can’t wait to hear more from these folks – I am genuinely excited by what I hear and I cannot stop listening to these songs. Go listen to the album on YouTube, Spotify or Last.Fm and then buy it. You won’t regret it and you may find yourselves being challenged, energised, raised up and drawn closer to God as the passionate heart of the music pumps out your earbuds/speakers/tin-cans.