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Battle Cry: Worship from the Frontlines

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Oct
Battle Cry: Worship from the Frontlines
Sounds like … the rough, live feel of United, Jeff Deyo, Lincoln Brewster, Ten Shekel Shirt, and early Sonicflood.At a glance … not nearly as accomplished as his acclaimed solo debut, Gungor puts on his teen worship leader hat for this fun, if not a bit routine, live collection.Track Listing You Are Good Battle Cry Forevermore/Awesome God Wrap Me in Your Arms Rescue Worthy Is Not Enough I Am Free To the Ends of the Earth Children and Kings Filled with Glory

If Louie Giglio and the Passion conferences are the forerunners in college ministry, Ron Luce and the Acquire the Fire gatherings are their teenaged counterparts. For years, Luce and the ATF team have been mobilizing teens to live boldly for God, and the "Run to the Battle" mega rallies planned for the 2005-2006 period are on course to do the same. The theme this year is Battle Cry for a Generation, based on the Luce book by the same name. Battle Cry: Worship from the Frontlines is the official audio companion to the conferences.

Previous Acquire the Fire albums have used the talents of popular Christian musicians and teen singers, but Battle Cry relies on up-and-coming worship leader and gifted guitarist Michael Gungor to lead the audience. Recorded live on the campus of Teen Mania Ministries in Lyndale, Texas, Gungor and his energetic band are in full praise-and-worship mode, leading the young crowd through a combination of originals and lesser known cover songs. The sound is rougher and much simpler than Gungor's stunning 2003 debut, an underrated gem that fused acoustic pop, rock, and jazz a la John Mayer into a worship artist's delight.

But here things are straightforward and "rocking" enough for the target crowd, with a lively rendition of the classic-in-the-making "I Am Free," a sped-up take on United's "To the Ends of the Earth," and an electrified version of Israel Houghton's "You Are Good." Of the new material, not a lot stands out, except for the anthemic "Wrap Me in Your Arms" and the dramatic "Forevermove," two songs that segue right into each other to create a worshipful ambiance. Other than that, Battle Cry isn't more than your token post-conference keepsake. Judging from how loud the concert attendees sound on tape, it's one they'll be more than happy to take home.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.