In 2003, a combination of two solo artists called Across the Sky hit stores through Word Records. Two years later, the two broke up, each to individually seek his own way in the Christian music industry. One half of the duo, Justin Unger, is the first to prominently return, debuting his solo efforts with Disengage.
Now a worship pastor at a church in Prescott, Arizona, Unger's latest musical offering is a solid building block for his career, filled with maturity and skill that Across the Sky simply did not achieve together. As a piano player since his youth, Unger's musical prowess reflects in each song. Furthermore, he states that the album is a "reflection of seasons that the Lord has brought me through so far." Disengage wholly backs up that statement, lyrically at the very least.
In each track, the main instrument is undoubtedly the piano. In the first song, Unger sings, "Cause this broken shell is half a life…", which sets the stage for the entire album's theme. Other tracks, such as "Behold" and "Everything" speak of the glory of God and maintain a radio-friendly pop sound. Other notable tracks include "In God Alone," "Eternal Life," and "Reaching for Me." Each song seems to hold significance and showcase Unger's talent as a pianist.
The only true downside to Disengage is it's lack of originality, however. Easily (possibly a little too easily) compared to artists such as Matthew West, Brandon Heath, and Mark Shultz (who all can be pretty easily comparable to other artists as well), Justin Unger simply does not have what it takes yet to break free of his Christian pop surroundings. Still, in this reviewer's opinion, this is one of the best albums of the year in its genre.
Disengage, with its driving piano melodies and soulful lyrics, hits the mark. Although unoriginal at times, it's still inescapably a very good pop album. For fans of the above-mentioned artists, Justin Unger's Disengage is a must-buy.- Review date: 2/3/08, written by Garrett DeRossett
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