STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 25382-13017 LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2806 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-07-20 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Ewan Jones
Back in 2003 this gifted American songsmith released an independent worship album 'Because', which went on to sell 10,000 copies. 'Not Guilty Anymore' is his second full length album comprising of 11 praise and worship songs with an alternative rock edge. "Never Cease To Amaze Me" opens the album and is a brilliant, Weezer-esque rocker, full of energy and imaginative production. It's a good song because you can tell that behind the production, if you stripped away the glitz it would still work as a beautiful acoustic praise song. In a sense it's a deceptive start, as only "Like Jesus" and "I Am Yours" come close to keeping that upbeat tempo. For the other eight tracks the tone is contemplative, worshipful and inspiring. Central to the album is the passionate title track, a song written after spontaneously singing "Can you hear the sound of grace?/Condemnation falling to the floor/You're not guilty anymore" during a worship event in America. It's a powerful message for individuals and for the Church and is poignant in a year where the Church has focussed on issues of freedom from all kinds of slavery. The album was recorded in Abbey Road studios and features guest appearances from various Brit worship leaders and songwriters. I was happy to note this wasn't plastered all over the cover as a selling point - Keyes' songs stand up on their own. One of the strongest tracks is a version of "Psalm 62". The timing and melodies draw to mind "In Christ Alone", so it comes as no surprise to fine it was written with Stuart Townend. It's a great song that deserves the opportunity to be sung widely in churches across the country. 'Not Guilty Anymore' is a brilliant, surprising and inspiring album, and Aaron Keyes is a name to look out for, especially as he visit's the UK in September 2007.
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