Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: Aaron Gillespie
Album: Anthem Song
Release Date: 3/8/11
Label: BEC Recordings/Tooth & Nail Records

The genre of worship music is something that not all too many seem to openly embrace, perhaps being one of the less-accessible genres. When Aaron Gillespie announced that he would be doing a solo worship album of his own, I was a bit unsure what to expect, and after listening, I was a bit surprised. Anthem Song, Gillespie's debut, did not sound much like his other project, rock band The Almost, but instead, was much more stripped down, at times taking on a lighter pop rock sound, and others, an acoustic one, mixed in with some smooth piano strokes here and there.

The pop rock vibes are immediately shown on the album's first two tracks, "All Things" and a cover of Brenton Brown's "Hosanna," the latter adding in some alternating guitars and keys. Although I really enjoy these songs, and the following "Washed Away," I really think the beauty of Anthem Song are the acoustic offerings, specifically the reinvented hymn "Earnestly I See Thee," which is simple, but urges to be sung along with. The sleek rocker "We Were Made For You" has an unforgettable chorus of "You are God, You are God, we were made for You, just for You." "I Will Worship You" reminds me of one of the acoustic songs that Aaron has done in The Almost, starting out with just a strumming of an acoustic, but eventually building up into a majestic "Hallelujah, our God reigns!" The album's title track takes on the sound of an energetic CCM rocker, adding in some strings with a fast beating drum beat.

The album takes a turn on "You Are Jesus," hitting off with an indie-type sound, and some folksy guitar work, which encompass the downbeat song. The energetic "You Are My Everything" seems quite The Almost-esque, and is the last energetic song, before moving onto the ballad "Your Song Goes On Forever," and then to the album closing, acoustic gem "I Am Your Cup," an honest song, that finds Aaron completely stripped down, with a raw sound, that gives off an intimate, live feel.

Overall: Aaron Gillespie's take on a worship album, Anthem Song, is something to not pass up. A very refreshing album at the least, with brutal honesty that shows our need for God, we should all take part in joining into His anthem that goes on forever, and Gillespie only helps us to realize that. If you are a fan of any of The Almost's slower songs and either energetic or laid back worship music, Anthem Song is certainly worth the listen, even if you aren't a huge fan of worship.

Rating: 8/10

  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

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