It’s always seems like we’re in the darkest time of our nights when suddenly the first faint glimmers of the approaching sunrises start to appear. Rising from his own dark night struggles with the illnesses of two of his children, Aaron Shust has come back bearing a project that’s both powerful and accessible, brimming with poetry and hope. Shust again shows why he won of New Artist and Songwriter of the Year Awards several years ago, creating the kind of songs that you find yourself humming hours after listening.
Musically, Morning Rises takes the best of CCM-friendly sounds and hones them with strong songwriting and an organic production vibe, courtesy of Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, et al). Shust shows great mastery of the power ballad, often building huge landscapes of sound out of simple piano beginnings, as he does on “The One” and “No One Higher.” “Firm Foundation” calls to mind a melding of the venerable Rich Mullins feel with the vibe of modern folksters such as Mumford & Sons, and the nod to “current-yet-classic” worship continues with a co-writing credit with Paul Baloche.
More: Shust continues to be a strong voice in today’s worship circles, creating a sound that crosses generational barriers.
Less: Very middle-of-the-road, but not much else to say here. This is good stuff.