Most helpful critical review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Highs and Lows, but overall worth buying
on August 19, 2006
Aaron Shust is a former worship team leader from Atlanta , GA who has burst onto the CCM scene with the hit "My Savior, My God." Anything Worth Saying is worth hearing.
Anything Worth Saying opens with Give Me Words. Just as you're drawn into it, it ends. A 17 second snippet of a song to open an album? It's a strange choice. Loved the 17 seconds, but it leaves you unsatisfied. Fortunately, the second track, Glory To You is strong and almost four minutes of producer Dan Hannon on a grungy guitar with a catchy hook from Shust. The hook drives this and many other songs on the CD, and Aaron seems to have a knack for them. Matchless features more excellent guitar work and a current sound, which may be why Aaron was signed. The chorus is pretty basic and repeats over and over again, but it is catchy.
There's an innocence throughout this album. You get the sense that it's not written from some deep, dark place crying out to the Lord, but from a high, a thankfulness for a life untouched by tragedy. Nowhere is this more evident than on Stillness, a very strong track. You get the sense that Shust is not drowning and grasping, but is GROWING in the Lord and longs to be with Him as a beloved. Stillness is absolutely lovely, and shows a beautiful heart.
Aaron has a "Chris Tomlin" feel on More Wonderful, that's a supreme compliment as Chris really was the trailblazer in this style. Change the Way showcases Aaron's pure voice and this song stands out as a radio track. Stand to Praise has lyrics based on Psalm 117, but they get a bit repetitive, as does the simple melody. His worship team experience shows here, though while this may go over well in a full congregation, for sheer listening quality it falls short.
Again a snippet of a song with In Your Name, the START of a beautiful and potentially brilliant song. Yes, I understand artists wanting cool unexpected things, but the song feels more unfinished than clever. It comes right up to the hook, then ends! If I were to buy this CD, I'd think I am getting 12 tracks, but I really get 10, the bare minimum for a full length CD. The label should have sprung to do 12 tracks. This song also sounds very similar to the bridge from Matchless. It does lead into One Day well enough, but the production foresight really lacks here. One Day is the end of the CD, another track with a strong Scriptural basis. It starts out well, but after some of the previous tracks, it feels a bit amateurish. It's trying to find its identity and doesn't ever really reach it.
This is Shust's debut album, and for that, it's pretty impressive. The production is tight on some of the better tracks, and the instrumentation is very professional. There are some really excellent songs here, but there are also some that weren't yet ready for the studio. That there is depth proves that Shust is not a one-hit wonder. Most importantly, the focus on every single one of these songs is God Almighty. While improvements certainly can be made, his focus is not one of those. Aaron has a bright future in Praise and Worship and CCM.