Whispered and Shouted
In 2005, Aaron Shust became a Christian music star thanks to the plainspoken intensity of his praise tune “My Savior My God.” He infuses 2007’s Whispered and Shouted with a similar combination of intimacy and grandeur, conveyed through his compelling voice and unguardedly reverent songwriting. Sonically, the album takes cues from Coldplay in its minimalist modern rock arrangements, with touches of country-pop added for sweetening. Shust prefers to under-sing rather than lift his voice in full-cry — when he rises to falsetto heights (as in “Can’t Hide from Your Love”), the effect in shiver-inducing. Even on more aggressive tracks like “Long Live the King,” his vocals embody a tightly-focused conviction rather than enraptured abandon. The album’s lyrics resonate with quiet determination and an almost childlike purity of faith. “I Will Wait,” “Give Me Words to Speak” and “Worthy/Let All I Do” rest upon bedrock Biblical messages of humility and gratitude. “Like I Never Felt Before” succeeds as both a statement of personal victory and a universal call to worship. Whispered and Shouted often has a contemplative tone, which may disappoint those looking for roof-shaking rock hymns. Looking inward, Shust turns his second album into a deeply-smoldering expression of praise.