"Can you hear the sound of grace
Condemnation falling to the floor
You’re not guilty anymore."
Those lyrics—sonorous and spontaneous—spilled from Aaron Keyes during a night of worship in Tennessee and came to be the thematic centerpiece of his sophomore project Not Guilty Anymore. After selling almost 10,000 copies of his independent debut album Because, Aaron’s second release is a collection of songs for worship, ministry, and praise written during the past year that captures his unique blend of progressive sound and arrangement with congregational sensibility and fresh depth.
In the past three years, Aaron has served as a worship pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Atlanta and has played more than 500 dates. During that time, Aaron has found that many, including himself, find it difficult to hear the sound of grace and find freedom from condemnation. He says, “I think we cheapen Jesus’ blood when we live on in shame and guilt. This album is about that place of realization of what the cross has done to set us free.” These songs, then, aim to draw worshippers beyond the dull, meaningless phrases of so many worship choruses and into a deeper understanding of biblical praise and worship as a response to the scandalous, saving love of God.
In 2006 Aaron began a relationship with Kingsway Music, and in early 2007 Aaron spent a week at Abbey Road with producer John Hartley, meeting and writing with some of praise and worship’s finest songwriters. Stuart Townend, the renowned creator of “In Christ Alone” and “How Deep the Father's Love for Us” joined Aaron to write a hymn version of Psalm 62, and Paul Oakley (“Jesus, Lover of my Soul”) collaborated to write “Be Like Jesus.” The beautifully didactic “Blessing and Honor” is a joint effort with Steve Hindalong (“God of Wonders”), and Gary Sadler (“Ancient of Days”) co-wrote “I Am Yours.” Dutch worship leader Kees Kraayenord helped write the tender song of surrender “Help Me Lord,” and Aaron’s “Where Are You Now” is a rare glimpse into worship through lament. Soaring and, at times, exuberant tracks balance the album’s meditative moments. “Never Cease to Amaze” is a rocking dance song that injects energy into the entire project. Several tracks, including “Forever Worthy” and “Not Guilty Anymore,” are powerful anthems already being sung in local churches. The album builds toward the final triumphant statement of “Not What My Hands,” provoking a depth of response to God that is rich in gratitude and honesty.
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Not Guilty Anymore| Posted October 26, 2011
Overall I did not care for this release as much as "Dwell". The songs are all Christ centered and very worshipful which was great and I definitely enjoyed that aspect, but the arrangements didn't catch my attention. I'm sure there will be many who will find this release very meaningful and encouraging though despite my particular feelings.