There’s instantly something more compelling and interesting about Aaron Gillespie’s second worship full-legnth. I hate to say more honest, because I don’t think there was anything disingenuous about Anthem Song. Maybe it’s the maturity. Between fronting the Almost and leading worship, there’s a comfortability that comes through on Grace Through The Wandering. There’s a lyrical richness in certain songs on Grace, that moves beyond the typical congregational worship and into a personal outpouring. And I think that it the biggest difference between Anthem Song and Grace Through The Wandering.
Grace takes a while to really hits it’s stride. I enjoy the first couple of tracks, but the artistry and more crafted moments don’t appear right away. Wake Us Up is a nice opener. Upbeat, but not crazy. It’s a very nice congregational song, which I have no problem with! You need those on a worship album and I would love to be singing Wake Us Up in my church. Gillespie’s spin on Praise Him is nice. He doesn’t stray too far from the original, but makes it his own just enough to give it a fresh spin.
A Love Like Yours was the first track to really grab my ear. From the outset, the instrumentation sets a different tone. The hook is simple and easy, but impactful. The bridge being the chorus of None But Jesus creates an almost dark undertone. It’s a beautiful and interesting arrangement that creates this weird dichotomy in the song. It works and you can see how live it could hit with chilling and heartbreaking impact. Keep Me In shows off the musical richness of Grace Through the Wandering, another area where Gillespie has grown since Anthem Song. Like on Keep Me In, the usage of strings on In You There’s Hope is understated and almost forgotten, but they add this beautiful texture, and even though it’s only momentary, it’s perfect! Gillespie’s country spin on Come Thou Fount to close the record, while not my favorite version of the hymn, is a nice step to really push the bounds of what something traditional should sound like or feel. It’s the artist coming out.
I enjoy Grace Through The Wandering, and like I said, I think it’s a huge step forward from Anthem Song. But I don’t see this becoming a “go to” worship record for me. 3.5 out of 5 Stars.