Powerful, Heartfelt Live Worship
Posted March 06, 2017
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer
For over a decade now, fans have seen Aaron Shust thrive as each new release showcased his ever-developing songwriting, craftsmanship and passionate heart for worship. Now a successful mainstay in the worship genre with several hit songs that have become staples for the church, it seems hard to believe that Aaron's latest album marks new territory for the seasoned artist.
His seventh studio album, Love Made A Way, is the singer's first live project. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee last fall, the record features both brand new material and familiar favorites reinvented in the live setting. Featuring guest vocals from the likes of former Sanctus Real frontman Matt Hammitt, Grayson|Reed's Molly Reed, Christy Nockels and more, Aaron didn't want the night of recording to be just a concert or performance. He wanted a crowd gathering together for a genuine, heartfelt worship experience. In the beginning of what feels like a new season for Shust, the album celebrates the faithfulness of our God, with declarations of His goodness and strength radiating through each track.
Energetic new tune "Heartbeat" opens the album by capturing listeners in a time of praise in response to all He is to us: "You are my every heartbeat, every breath that I breathe / You're all I need." Hearing the live audience sing along makes the moment even more powerful as it leads into one of Aaron's most impactful songs, "My Hope Is In You." The signature piano riff begins the encouraging message of finding peace while waiting on the Lord as, once again, hearing the crowd sing along adds something special to the familiar song.
Another new upbeat anthem, "Belong" is just one example of Aaron's remarkable ability to lead crowds in meaningful moments of worship. The first single from the album, "You Redeem," follows with its vivid lyrical pictures of redemption and powerful message of restoration still to come: "You redeem / You restore what's been stolen from me / You reclaim / You release / You rebuild with the words that You breathe." Truly the highlight of Love Made A Way, this hopeful track puts Aaron's compelling songwriting at the forefront as lines of bold faith and Scriptural promises encourage the listener's heart.
Pulling out a few already-adored worship gems, Aaron's versions of Bethel Music's "Ever Be," Elevation Worship's "Resurrecting" and well-known "Cornerstone" prove to be significant moments that focus the attention solely on Christ and His unchanging character. More of his signature pieces, "God Of Brilliant Lights" and "My Savior My God" (the biggest song of Aaron's career and a major success in the CCM realm), have made a deep impact in their original form, but even more so here with the background of a live audience singing along with every faith-filled word.
Eloquently written "Death Was Arrested" is yet another bold track that is sure to draw congregations into a moving time of reflection and praise. Closing out the album, "Lead On (King Eternal)" is a lively longing for Christ to guide us: "You go before us / lead on, King Eternal / lead on, we will follow."
The Bottom Line: At the very core of his artistry, Aaron Shust's heart is inviting people into a life-changing meeting with God through worship. With each song displaying the exceptional writing that pulls Biblical truths and transforms them into comforting anthems, Love Made A Way is Aaron Shust at his best as the live environment suits him better than any studio ever could. His heart and passion for genuine worship is tangible in every track as the live "choir" backing the whole album only adds to the power in the songs. The perfect combination of new introduced and old reimagined, it's impossible to hear Love Made A Way and not walk away encouraged by the Spirit of God that lives within these recordings.
Song To Download Now:
"You Redeem" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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