Album Review :
Aaron Gillespie - Anthem Song

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Artist: Aaron Gillespie

Album: Anthem Song

Label: BEC Recordings

Release Date: March 8, 2011

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson


  1. All Things
  2. Hosanna
  3. Washed Away
  4. Earnestly I Seek Thee
  5. We Were Made for You
  6. I Will Worship You
  7. Anthem Song
  8. You Are Jesus
  9. You Are My Everything
  10. Your Song Goes On Forever
  11. I Am Your Cup

Aaron Gillespie just might be the only artist to ever release albums on all three branches of Tooth & Nail. We met him on Solid State as the drummer and clean vocals of Underoath. Next he was the lead singer and guitarist of The Almost, that high-energy alt-rock band on Tooth & Nail. And now with a solo worship project he has moved on to BEC. (Now if only Uprok were still around…) With so many releases under his belt, Aaron Gillespie has proved himself as an incredibly talented and versatile artist. This point is further proven by the fact that he and producer Aaron Sprinkle played every instrument on Anthem Song themselves, even if he did get some help with the songwriting from more established worship artists like Paul Baloche, Sarah Hart, and Phillip LaRue.

Musically it ends up somewhere near The Almost, but without any of the punk leanings and showing obvious influence from Chris Tomlin and David Crowder. Gillespie’s vocals shake up a sometimes tired genre, filling the music with life, passion, and energy, and Sprinkle’s backing vocals add a nice flair as well. The quality of the music is not quite up to par with his past material, but it is by no means bad.

Yet if we are to evaluate a worship record, the most important element is inevitably the lyrics. For Anthem Song, Aaron focuses on the goodness of God and really positive, uplifting praise to God for being who God is. Whether he is talking about being filled with God’s love or choosing to live for God’s purposes, the message always comes back to glorifying God and exalting the name of Jesus. Aaron praises God in focused simplicity, worshipping the Creator without any other thoughts coming into the conversation. In that sense, it is pure worship because it is completely focused on God and the character of God rather than being focused on someone’s feelings. So if you are one of those people that complain about emotionally-driven, self-centered worship music, Aaron Gillespie will be a welcome relief.

Overall: Aaron Gillespie gives up the punk edge for a worship record that still rocks, but in a more straightforward way expected from artists like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Jeff Deyo. His voice fills with passion as he sings praise to God in a way that is very positive and focused entirely on the Creator. He still references the way God impacts our lives and calls for personal devotion and dedication to God, but it is always for the purpose of glorifying God and nothing else. Fans of his past music will enjoy this release, and he will probably gain a much larger audience with these worship tunes than he has with The Almost.