Aaron Shusts’ “Unto Us” blends modern with ancient to create a beautiful Christmas album

Aaron Shust Unto UsUNTO US
Aaron Shust
Centricity Music

Dove Award-winning artist, Aaron Shust, releases his first Christmas project, Unto Us. Produced by David Hamilton (Grammy Awards, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant) – and featuring music by the Prague Symphony Orchestra – the album delivers ten new songs written by Shust, each containing a cinematic quality that blends ancient and modern sounds.

Shust divided Unto Us into three categories to follow the Nativity Story found in Scripture: proclamation, adoration and celebration.

Tracks one through five are the proclamation; the angels, the star, the wise men.

The Overture, “Star of Wonder,” opens with soft church bells slowly swelling into a piano and a bouzouki – a Greek guitar – then into powerful orchestral medley of familiar carols, evoking the mystery associated with the Advent season, ending with Shust leading a choir singing, “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”

It segues into “Gloria” with Isaiah 9:2, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” as the opening lyric. Backed by a full choir, it is a powerful holy-day anthem.

The title cut, “Unto Us,” is a joyous and upbeat tune, blending guitars and drums with a full orchestra, finishing the thought of the last song with the beloved description of Jesus found in Isaiah in 9:6-7.

“Advent Carol,” inspired by an ancient hymn and “God Has Come to Earth” reminds listeners of the ultimate purpose of Advent; Jesus coming to Earth to save mankind.

Tracks six, seven and eight are the adoration; the birth, Mary’s lullaby, the shepherds. “Sanctuary” is a beautiful ballad, with the Nashville Boys Choir providing background vocals. “Keep Silent,” is a quiet and moving instrumental.

The last two songs are the celebration of the birth of our Savior. ‘Rejoice’ blends ‘Good Christian Men Rejoice’ with an additional exhortation for everyone to lift your voice. ‘Go Tell It’- the traditional “Go Tell It On the Mountain” – has a southern gospel flavor.

Shust states that his goal was to create an album that sounds ancient yet modern and above all, sacred. In Unto Us, he has accomplished it. If you only buy one album this Christmas season, this is the one to buy.