Artist:  Aaron Shust
Title:  Whispered and Shouted
Label:  Brash Music

Aaron Shust skillfully avoids the sophomore slump with this finely crafted second album. You couldn’t blame the guy if he was a little nervous with the release of this record. After all, it’s hard to follow a phenomenally successful debut like Anything Worth Saying, which spawned 2006’s most played single at Christian radi this year’s GMA “Song of the Year”?“My Savior My God.”

With Whispered and Shouted, Shust demonstrates his creative well runs deep, and this set is every bit as compelling as its predecessor. Shust wrote or co-wrote each of the 12 tracks, and there’s a relaxed, personal feel to this album that will draw listeners in. The vulnerability and transparency in his delivery is especially effective on tender ballads such as “Watch Over Me” and “Give Me Words to Speak.”

Shust’s gift as a songwriter really shines on tracks like “Create Again,” a stirring worship song with a visual lyric that serves up image after image pointing to God’s glory. The album gets its title from “Can’t Hide Your Love,” a potent worship anthem inspired by Romans 1:20 [“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (NIV)]. The opening song, “Long Live the King,” is an up-tempo tune with an edgy intensity. Penned as he was driving to a memorial for a friend who died at 23 of leukemia, Shust confesses in the lyric that there are times he doesn’t “feel like singing” but says, “I’ll give my everything to the One who pledged to cancel my sorrow.”

Audiences who enjoyed Shust’s debut album will love this new collection. On Whispered and Shouted, he makes the transition from promising newcomer to established artist and displays a depth of talent sure to keep him a force in the music community for years to come.

 

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