Aaron Gillespie will be releasing his second full-length worship album on February 3, 2015. The former Underoath drummer and current frontman for The Almost has had a heart for worship throughout his entire career, and he was able to release some worship songs on his 2011 solo debut "Anthem Song." The second album, Grace Through The Wandering, will feature new original tracks as well as one or two worship favorites.
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Graceful Tunes from a Musical Wanderer| Posted January 31, 2015
Aaron Gillespie is one of the most well-traveled artists in the contemporary music world when it comes to genre hopping. Honing his skills as just a teenager behind the drumkit of legendary, definitive post-hardcore act Underoath, Aaron would later branch out to start his own gritty rock group The Almost, diverging yet again in 2011 to release solo worship material. These days his day job involves touring the world behind the drums for pop rock icon Paramore while in his spare time he pens new tracks for The Almost and his solo worship venture.
It would be easy for an artist who has not just seen but thrived in so many diverse settings to lose his ability to focus in on the musical task at hand. But with Aaron Gillespie's latest solo worship effort Grace Through The Wandering (written and recorded largely while on the road with Paramore), it's clear that his vision has never been sharper.
From energetic opening track "Wake Us Up," it's clear that his approach to worship tunes has shifted a little in the four years since 2011's Anthem Song. The sound is simultaneously more electronic and more chilled out indie-leaning-- a shift that echoes the similar directions taken by major worship music players Hillsong and Bethel Music in recent years. "A Love Like Yours" has a slightly playful edge in its clapped percussion, and the joy-filled lyrics of "Praise Him" are buoyed up by solid electronic undertones.
This is not to say, however, that there aren't elements here that are unique and distinctly Gillespie's own. The gently affirming "All He Says I Am" carries a clear acoustic guitar presence alongside the raw lyric style that fans have come to love from the oft-confessional songwriter. Similarly, "Keep Me In" utilizes a tone of slightly melancholy yearning: "Rope up my feet with Your truth that I can rely on / Nail down my doubt to the boards that You bled out hope on… / keep me in this place of worship."
Musically, two of the most intriguing offerings are "Hold Me Close" and Aaron's take on "Come Thou Fount." The vocals on electronic-styled "Hold Me Close" are breathed in a way that makes them almost part of the percussion, driving the song through lyrics directed from an anxious heart to the Comforter. "Come Thou Fount" takes the rather gutsy risk of lending a new tune to an old favorite hymn. The haunting new melody succeeds largely through restraint, with Aaron's voice backed by minimalistic, folk-influenced instrumentation. The veteran artist exhibits wisdom in avoiding overplaying his creative hand.
Musically, this is a solid worship effort that could hold its own with other worship heavyweights, with some intriguing sonic diversions that also give it hints of innovation. However, it's the lyrics that truly set this project apart from others in its genre. One of the areas in which Aaron Gillespie excels is maintaining the same personality, the same message and the same goals, whether it be on a massive mainstream pop rock tour or in quiet moments of worship. The blend of brutal self-examination, desperate dependence on grace and abandon for the message of Christ and His Kingdom that has made for some wonderful rock and roll translates beautifully into these worship tunes. Although musically this project is grounded, lyrically it soars.
Song to Download Now:
"All He Says I Am" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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Amazing!| Posted February 05, 2015
Aaron Gillespie has been a busy man in high demand in recent years. Underoath, The Almost, Paramore, and his own solo projects. God has granted him many an opporunity to grow and mature his skills both as a singer, songwriter, and drummer. Grace Through the Wandering is a perfect example of Gillespie's skills. Being his best album ever, I highly recommend you get his new Worship album, and maybe introduce a friend as well!