Texas native Michael Farren spent 16 years as the lead vocalist of the worship band, Pocket Full of Rocks, and now serves as the Worship Pastor at Gateway Church in Franklin, TN. He has spent much of his life writing music for the likes of Michael W Smith, Natalie Grant, New Life Worship, Jaci Velasquez, Big Daddy Weave and Aaron Shust just to name a few. After spending so many years writing for and performing with others, Farren finally decided to gift the church with eleven of his own songs on his first solo release, Fighting For Us.
Farren’s writing is poetic and filled with great Biblical truths as he explores themes of freedom through Christ, God as loving father and how we are healed through the blood of Jesus.
His voice resembles Zach Williams with it’s southern, edgy tone but his vocals are delivered with a bit softer sensibility while stylistically, the arrangements are mostly centered around southern rock and Gospel with a bit of a modern pop flair.
“I Belong To Jesus” is a declarative and vertical anthem of praise that reminds us that our identity is found in Jesus. Musically this track features a southern vibe with banjos and violins that work well. The pop-infused title track features Farren’s inspiring vocals as he examines the heart that God has for His people as he fights for us in every situation.
Previously released on co-writer, Corey Voss’ album earlier this year, “Praise the King” is a glorious song of resurrection victory even though the arrangement here is not as moving as Voss’ and “Prisoners” is a well-thought out southern ditty complete with a Gospel choir, honkey-tonk piano and slide guitar about the freedom and healing that only Jesus can bring.
The most thought-provoking song on this release is the stripped down, “Where Is God?”. Here Farren gets raw and real as he asks the question, “Where is God in the terror and suffering? Where is God when sorrows get the best of us”? The answer is delivered with heartfelt sincerity as Farren declares that whenever love is poured out in any situation, there is God.
Michael Farren is a great song writer and these are great songs written with intentionality from the heart of a man who truly loves people and loves God. Most of these songs are congregationally ready and are theologically sound. It’s just too bad we had to wait so long for Michael to bless us with a solo project.