Aaron Keyes - Not Guilty Anymore (re-issue)

Published Thursday 30th September 2010
Aaron Keyes - Not Guilty Anymore (re-issue)
Aaron Keyes - Not Guilty Anymore (re-issue)

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 94705-17046
LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD3132
RELEASE DATE: 2010-07-19
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by James Howard-Smith

This reissue of the American worship leader's second album (originally released in 2007) replaces the original somewhat surrealist cover illustration with a photograph of the man himself. Testament to his "congregational sensibility" can be found in Aaron singing 12 of God's names on "Blessing And Honor", which he picked from the myriad for being comfortably pronounceable by the worshipping masses; the course runs from the Lord's name in the first chapter of Genesis, Elohim, the song's first word, to Immanuel in the final line, as Keyes displays an admirable knowledge of the scriptures without turning his song into a lecture. Sadly, at no point does the music impress to the same degree. Reasonable variation is evident from the start as the well chosen, danceable opener, "You Never Cease to Amaze Me", driven by a rocking riff, fades out in favour of the softer intro to "Forever Worthy"; also deserving of mention here is "Like Jesus", whose different tempo buzzes with the west coast cool sound of a group like Switchfoot. But it's never really progressive, failing as it does to break free of the old gentle verse/loud chorus combination.

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Product Description
Not Guilty Anymore is a collection of songs that capture Aaron's unique blend of progressive sound and arrangement with congregational sensibility and fresh depth.

Aaron spent a week at Abbey Road meeting and writing with some of praise and worship’s finest songwriters. Stuart Townend, writer 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 Honour’ 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 meditative moments that help define Aaron’s album Not Guilty Anymore. ‘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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