Friday, March 25, 2011


     Being a founding member of Christian metalcore band Underoath, and currently lead vocalist for alternative rock group The Almost, Aaron Gillespie is not the most likely candidate to record a worship album, but that is exactly what he has done with the release of ANTHEM SONG (2011, BEC Recordings).  In the CD booklet he writes: "When time began God had a song; an 'anthem' if you will.  It is a song of truth, life, and ultimate love, which was displayed to us through Christ...Our lives exist to grab a piece of this anthem, the piece God has carved out just for us and sing as loud and as hard as we can.  He alone is worthy to be praised."  Aaron aims to introduce worship music to kids who normally wouldn't be interested in it.
     'Washed Away' is about losing yourself in God: "God we need You so much, let Your glory fall like rain/Till we are washed, washed away in You Jesus/I'm washed away in You."  'We Were Made for You' is a pop/rock song driven by guitar and drums, and is about being sold out for God: "You are God, You are God/We were made for You, just for You/You are God, You are God/We will live for You in everything we do/You are God."  'You are Jesus' contains this simple yet profound lyric: "You are holy/I am dirty/In You I am made clean/You are Jesus."  'All Things' is a pop number telling of how God can transform bad things in our lives into something great: "All things, all things are in Your hands, bright and beautiful/Wise and wonderful/All things are in Your hands." 
     'Earnestly I Seek Thee' is a beautiful ballad that builds.  It is about a desire for intimacy with God: "In life's troubles, sorrows and pain/Earnestly I seek Thee/Fill my soul with peace again/Earnestly I seek Thee."  'I Will Worship You' is slow and highlights a single minded determination to worship God no matter the circumstances: "When I'm losing, when I'm broken/When I'm sinking like a stone and it feels like I'm alone/I will worship You."
     Tracks 9 and 10 are perhaps my favourites.  'You are my Everything' is a straight up rock song with a pulsating rhythm and good guitar work.  This style seems to best suit Gillespie's voice.  'Your Song Goes on Forever' is a ballad of praise: "Your song goes on forever/I will sing my part with my whole heart/Your song goes on forever/I will bless Your Name/I will sing Your praise."
     Overall, ANTHEM SONG is a pretty good worship record for a first attempt, though Gillespie's voice is a bit of an aquired taste.  I'm giving this album a 75%.  I recommend it to fans of Chris Tomlin and Paul Baloche (who co-writes on the album), and the worship projects of Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, and Skillet.