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JFH Staff Review

Aaron Shust
Take Over

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 34 seconds
Street Date: August 4, 2009

Praise and worship music is a strange animal. While usually offering the most blatantly devoted lyrics, it can simultaneously seem cheap and insincere. As a result, praise and worship albums tend to be hit and miss. At best, they can be inspiring and refreshing, while at worst they are cliché and dull. Fortunately, Aaron Shust tends to show the genre's good side.

Not everything on Shust's new album, Take Over, would be considered praise and worship, but there is a definite trend. The opening track, "To God Alone," is as straightforward as it gets. The atmosphere accelerates somewhat as "Come and Save Us" puts an edge on things with a nice opening guitar riff. "Forevermore" has a very simple melody that would fit nicely in any worship service. Everything is solid, although not quite exceptional to begin with. The first track that really stands out is the title track, which has a definite Mat Kearney feel to it. Shust's vocals fit perfectly with the relaxed style of the song. "Rest In the Arms" has a repetitive, rolling quality to it that makes it rather like a lullaby. Its message of trusting in the comfort of Jesus goes hand in hand with the restful atmosphere.

The only song that really stands out above the overall praise and worship theme is "Ever After." In this track, Shust takes on the task of disillusioning a friend about hoping in anything other than Christ as he sings, "There's no such thing as Peter Pan, no such place as Never Never Land... We won't find our happily ever after here. There's no such thing." It's a pleasing tune that is both humorous and gravely serious at the same time. Another track that listeners will definitely enjoy is the closer, "Carry Me Home." Here Shust shows what he can do with just his voice and a guitar. You will probably find yourself singing along in no time.

Take Over is a noticeable album if for no other reason than that every track is a solid, enjoyable effort. My only complaint is the unnecessary marring of "Live To Lose." This very simple song moves along quite nicely and pleasantly, but is abruptly broken by an awkward bridge where Shust repeats the unfortunately cliché line "Jesus you're the one, you're the only one for me."

Aaron Shust is no stranger to writing great music, and he continues to do so here. If you're looking for genuine praise and worship with a little rock and pop thrown in, you would do well to try Take Over.

- Review date: 8/2/09, written by Timothy Estabrooks of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Take Over's first track, "To God Alone," focuses on God's glory and Aaron Shust asking God for the ability to serve him better. Then, rounding out the album, Shust admits on "Carry Me Home" that he is a loyal sinner in need of Christ. Filling those gaps in Shust's third album, Take Over, are continuations and variations on those themes. Although that premise might sound overused, solid songwriting and Shust's strong vocals keeps the praise and worship from mediocrity. Take Over blends his debut album's, Anything Worth Saying, vulnerable sound with the more solemn and melodic style of Whispered and Shouted brilliantly. Up-tempo songs ("Come And Save Us" and "When Everything Is Beautiful") supply the good side of Lincoln Brewster's style of praise and worship, while the guitar driven pop tune "Ever After" reveals the many strong dimensions of Shust's lyrics. Take Over is another all-around good (even though it's not ground breaking) worship album by Aaron Shust. However, perhaps he should experiment with smiling on future album covers... - Nathaniel Schexnayder of


. Record Label: Brash Music
. Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 34 seconds
. Street Date: August 4, 2009
. Buy It:

  1. To God Alone (3:48)
  2. Come And Save Us (3:19)
  3. Forevermore (4:15)
  4. Take Over (3:19)
  5. Stars Will Fall (3:56)
  6. Rest In The Arms (3:35)
  7. Live To Lose (2:50)
  8. Ever After (3:10)
  9. Still You Love Me (3:47)
  10. Breathe In Me (3:41)
  11. When Everything Is Beautiful (3:57)
  12. Carry Me Home (4:04)



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