The musical, husband and wife duo Michael and Lisa Gungor released a new album entitled I Am Mountain which features a wide variety of musical styles. The new CD is filled with everything from electronic to alternative, country and rock.
Gungor is known for creating music that is creative, uplifting and poetic. The group includes two main vocalists who sing alongside instruments like acoustic and electric guitars, xylophone, cello, piano, banjo, drums and others.
The title song, “I Am Mountain,” certainly plays much like the climbing of a mountain, starting with a light, fun tickling of the piano, then rises as Lisa joins her husband along with a beating drum and a constant chorus. The song is a contemplation of life – the good and the bad. It’s how we live that life that matters most, according to Gungor, as he writes in his blog:
On some days, the world shimmers. On some days, our metaphors lose all their meaning, and the world saps the life out of us. At the end of the day, it’s all part of life. How are you going to live it? In fear or in love? With violent, clenched fists or with open hands?
The song ends on a strong note, an encouraging, I’ve-made-it-past-the-mountain note that listeners will feel fully satisfied in.
Each of the 12 songs on the CD are unique, written by different people with distinct meanings, writes Gungor in his band’s blog.
This album was very intentional about leaving room in its lyrical choices for interpretation. We are all at different stages of our journeys and sometimes what we need to hear most is not the same thing as what the creator emphasizes in his or her own mind. That’s the beauty of art. Most of the songs on the album were co-written by a few of us in the Gungor collective, each of us with different thoughts and viewpoints.
But it’s what the listener hears in the songs that make them so powerful – the songs speak to everyone, everywhere.
Listeners have varying views of Gungor’s latest CD, the main concern being that the music is so experimental this time around. While some listeners love that fact, others argue that past albums like Ghosts Upon the Earth and Beautiful Things are more traditionally Christian in sound and song.
On I Am Mountain, each songs seemingly features a different musical styling: “Wandering” is decidedly electronic, “Yesternite” has an acoustic touch, “Wayward and Torn” is the most rock out of all the songs on the CD, “Long Way Off” seems like most alternative music out there and “The Best Part” almost has a ballad-feel to it.
One of the most beautiful yet dark and jarring songs on the record is the second track, “Beat of her Heart.” Based on the Greek myth of the musician Orpheus and his beautiful love Eurydice, the song is about love and faith. Taken by itself, it is a soulful rendition of a classic story, and when compared to the rest of the CD, it seems to fit in perfectly with the theme of the album, in its recognition of life and death, and trust.
I Am Mountain will delight most listeners. While it doesn’t have to be typical Christian worship music, the themes are decidedly religious and faith-based. Gungor proves his versatility and creativity in this new album by venturing into many different genres.
The lead of the group, Michael Gungor is the son of a pastor and currently lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Lisa. The two collaborate on vocals in most of their songs, creating harmonious music. Gungor has previously been nominated for multiple Grammy awards in the gospel music category and their hit song, “Beautiful Things” is a popular choice for worship sets at churches all across the world.