Sunday, February 26, 2017

Music Review: Doxology by Aaron Shust

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Many of the songs are fun on their own
Cons: The songs sound too similar to each other; some repetitive lyrics
The Bottom Line:
Overall okay
Good individual songs
Sound too much alike

Sum Not Greater Than the Pieces

Sometimes, an artist I usually like releases a disc that I don’t like right away.  When that happens, I put the disc aside and come back to it later, and those new ears are often enough to make me like the disc again.  However, in the case of Aaron Shust’s Doxology, I’m finding my initial impression holds true.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love many of the songs on this disc.  “Always Will Be” starts things off strongly with an upbeat song about our God who has always existed.  “It Is Finished” has made my Easter playlist with this reflection on Jesus’s work on the cross.  God’s power over everything in life is the theme in “The Great Overcomer” and “Triumphant Conqueror.”  And there are songs of pure praise such as “Oh Praise (The Only One)” and “To the Only God.”

The problems come when you start looking at this disc as a whole.  And I could tell the problem right away.  “Always Will Be” finishes up with an upbeat, guitar driven sound and bleeds into “It Is Finished.”  If it weren’t for a few seconds of silence between the songs, you might think they were part of the same song.  They sound the same stylistically and they even sound like they are in the same key.  There are some minor changes in other songs, like the Gospel flavored “Come Quickly,” but the disc needed more style variety since most of the songs sound like these two.

Aaron Shust is a worship artist, and he has always walked that border between that genre and the contemporary Christian genre I love.  This disc heads more to the worship side of the genre, which means it lacks a certain depth.  Even worse are the repetitive lyrics, like on “Come Quickly” or the six and a half minute “Nothing More.”  Songs like that turn me off to a disc, and I start zoning out.  Couple that with songs that all sound similar, and there’s a real problem.

Which is a shame because there are many songs on here I do like individually.  I’ve added those songs to my iTunes library and always smile when one of them pops up to be played.  But when I listen to the disc together, it starts to lose its appeal.

So I recommend that you sample Doxology before you buy the entire thing.  This is definitely a case where finding and buying your favorite songs is the best way to go..

CD Length: 45:15
1. Always Will Be
2. It Is Finished
3. Oh Praise (The Only One)
4. The Great Overcomer
5. Never Gonna Let Me Go
6. How Majestic
7. Come Quickly
8. Nothing More
9. Triumphant Conqueror
10. To the Only God

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