Aaron Thompson
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Aaron Thompson

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"Aaron Thompson - Mystical Radical God"

Aaron Thompson - Mystical Radical God

When I first listened to this album, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to like it or not. In fact the first two times I listened to it, I never made it all the way through due to distractions and such. Then one morning I got up quite early, and put this one on the stereo. Although it’s a unique sound, Aaron is a versatile singer and songwriter. Well produced by Aaron himself (credits indicating in his house by his pool) and is actually professional sounding. Who says you need high priced recording studios to crank out a great sounding project? He puts on the train of this album with “Salt” which is an anthem of sorts dealing with “the salt of the world.”

This man is a prolific songwriter, and deals with the issues of today quite well. With “Wayo” being a much simpler sounding song than the previous cut, and feeling a tad bit more homegrown studio wise, this tune digs a little deeper into his thought process. I do like his adaptation of something the newsboys would do with the megaphone background vocals. This effect is usually overdone by most groups (made famous by the Beatles back in the 60’s); Aaron uses it like a good spice. Its in there just enough to enhance the sound. Things rock just a little bit more with “Flow Through Me,” even though the beat doesn_t change too much from the first cut of the album. Thank goodness by the time we get to “Bask In Your Sunlight” he slows things down a bit, and shows us a more peaceful side of himself. Aaron is more of a poet than a songwriter in the aspect that he tells a song more than writes lyrics. Not everybody can pull this off, but thankfully he can. His voice remains rock solid throughout and the background vocals are layered just enough to add color. Probably one of my favorite songs on the album is “Just Passing By.” A very acoustical performance, this is the portion of the album where things could fall apart. However, Aaron continues to deliver a stellar performance. This could be a very radio friendly song once you get into it. It’s more of what we should hear on radio, but aren_t given the chance. If FM radio was more album oriented driven like back in the 70’s this would be an excellent fit. “Who I Am” is a tough one for me to be objective about here. Lyrically the words speak volumes, but musically it’s probably the weakest tune of the 14 song CD. With what this great songwriter has shown us to this point, I would have hoped for more musical orientation. Part of this could simply be the placement of the song within the album structure. Possibly if this had been put as the last song of the album, it might have fit a lot better than where it lays now. Things do pick up with “You Are Free.” Once again Aaron shows his commercial side of songwriting. Another very radio friendly song, I would be surprised if this song doesn_t get some form of radio support. The message is strong and clear, and to the point. When “Dwell” first starts out, I chuckled as the thought of “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers came through my mind. Once his vocals start though, the song does go somewhat in a different direction. If you couldn’t say anything else about this man, at the very least you can confirm that Aaron Thompson is an extremely gifted songwriter. Thank goodness he’s also one with a beautiful voice too. “Mystical Radical God” changes directions almost immediately from where he’s taken us so far. Let me give you a word of warning here. Don’t try to fix your stereo when this song starts (you have to listen to the song in order to know what I mean). I don’t know if I agree with his voice being that distorted in the beginning, but hey, it is a different flavor from the rest of the collection of songs so far. I can say it is probably the most rocking song of the album. Then there_s “No More Fear.” Being totally biased here (that’s the prerogative of a critic) this is my favorite song of the album. What a totally awesome slow song. Beyond being a ballad, this almost symphonic piece is lush and deeply textured. I could play this one over and over and over. As you get more into this album, you discover more wonderful songs. “Watercolor Hands” is one of those gems. Although the first half of this album has been good, this one is great. Placement of a particular song on an album is important, and where this one sits on this project only goes to enhance this piece. I’d love to see this one performed live. I can only imagine how it would sound in a large hall.

“Good Medicine” pulls you into another direction after being lulled by the two previous cuts. The only down side is this song sounds almost like the first cut of the album in the beginning. Sorry, but not one of my more favorite tunes considering all the other great ones that have got you this far. Now with “We Only Kick And Bleed” he’s got my attention again. Aaron’s writing and singing is full of surprises, and trust me, their good ones so far. I do like the bass work on this song that Mike King plays. So far most the players on this album lay back and let Aaron shine through. However on this song, the musicians are allowed to stand out a little bit, including Doug Mann_s guitar work. We finish things up with “Love Your Enemies,” definitely the most rocking, edgy song on the album (even with the muted trumpet played by Mr. Versatile himself, Aaron Thompson). At 6:30 in the morning, I found my foot tapping (and trust me, at that time in the morning, not much wants to move until I’ve had my first glass of sweet iced tea). The song has an excellent groove, and gets a little funky towards the end, which having grown up on Tower Of Power Rufus, and Average White Band, it’s alright with me. I actually didn’t want the song to end. But alas it did.

Released on what looks like his own label, you need to track this one down however you can, and go buy it. I think the journey will be well worth it for you. I’m glad I made the time to listen to it finally.

Power Source Magazine, February 2003

- Power Source Magazine


"Mystical Radical God"

Mystical Radical God
Artist: Aaron Thompson
Label: Independent
Length: 14 tracks / 58:56

Arizona resident Aaron Thompson clearly has a firm grasp of how to write bright breezy memorable catchy songs as this independent record fixed itself firmly in my brain from the first bars. Guitarist and singer, the album was recorded in a variety of small studios and in the back of his house (away from the bedrooms). Like many independents, it seems like he beat a path to the doors of the Nashville industry to be turned away for being too old!

Not a rare occurrence sadly when the industry seems content to put its dollars behind the latest teenagers on the block. However when it comes to straight forward mature communication of the truths and realities of faith, we need more artists of the calibre of Aaron Thompson. Battling against the budget he manages to create an album with a snappy pop sensibility whilst also writing the kind of Christian songs that kicked this whole shebang off. Remember songs that challenged your life and encouraged your heart with an unmistakable message. And he's left out the cheese!

Mystical Radical God has a west coast sunny feel with optimistic songs like the celebratory intimate "Bask In Your Sunlight" and the splash of images that make up the breezy "Wayo". Highlights include "Salt" which feels like a Gospel version of "Love Train" with its shout out to Christians around the world. "You Are Free" retells some Gospel encounters of Christ whilst "Dwell" is a plea for God to transform our lives which breaks out in the middle into fun rock'n'roll.

The title cut sees Mr Thompson indulging in a little bit of riffy guitar and distorted vocals as he considers the eternal qualities of God in the face of the realities of the hardness of life. Sometimes it's a good thing to listen to an album with a pure message, simple songs and an intensity designed to stir your heart. Personally I wish there were more albums that sought to minister, present good solid music rather than some of the lightweight stuff that emanates from Music City.

But hey! Maybe meaty songs like "Love Your Enemies" and "Mystical Radical God" are a little too in your face for the safe spiritual milk that passes for a lot of contemporary Christian stuff these days.

I like this! If you want to know more, shoot over to www.aaronthompsonmusic.com for all the info you need.

Mike Rimmer 9/14/2002 – PhantomTollbooth
- Phantom Tollbooth


"AARON THOMPSON: MYSTICAL RADICAL GOD"

Mystical Radical God generously displays Aaron Thompson's talents as a songwriter, singer and producer. His lyrics are fresh and vibrant, taking familiar scripture passages and setting them to today's language and music with wonderful insight.

CD: Aaron Thompson - Mystical Radical God (09/02)
Label: Aaron Thompson Music
Credits: Written and performed by Aaron Thompson

Story Behind the Song
Aaron Thompson, music director for St. Thomas the Apostle, a LifeTeen parish in Phoenix, Arizona has recently released his third album, Mystical Radical God. Thompson is wonderfully talented as a songwriter, singer and producer. His lyrics are fresh and vibrant, taking familiar scripture passages and setting them to today's language and music with wonderful insight.

A perfect example of this is the third cut on the CD, the uplifting "Flow Through Me" based on the prayer of St. Francis. Many songwriters have set this famous prayer to music, but Thompson has put a whole new spin on the prayer. Lyrics such as these spell it out:

(imagine the familiar prayer, followed by this refrain):
"Make me a window, a channel, a note on the floor
I'll be an echo (an echo), a knock on the door
Let Your love, love, love flow through me.
I'll be a way, a means that beats like a drum,
A utensil, a gadget, a string on a thumb
Let Your love, love, love flow through me."

"Salt" (the featured song sample) is another example of wonderful lyrics combined with great music. You will be humming this song for certain after the first listen. This would have been a perfect theme song for World Youth Day 2002 as it so captures both the message of World Youth Day plus the international nature of the event.

The production value of this CD is excellent, as is the musicianship, and the packaging is colorful and lively. It is sure to become a favorite of many listeners, especially young people.


Susan Bailey
Catholic CD Review
- CATHOLIC CD REVIEW


"Foot-Stompin' Mystical Catechesis"

Aaron Thompson's Mystical Radical God is a passionate and searching album that will hold your attention from track to track. My wife actually thought I was listening to the soundtrack from “Jesus Christ Superstar” when she walked into the room. Aaron’s vocals have a similar style to those of Carl Anderson (who played Judas in the movie) in the first song on the CD called, "Salt". This will be a song many will use to help remember World Youth Day 2002. Aaron reminds us of the event’s theme, “You are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth.” This and many of the other songs on Mystical Radical God use familiar scripture passages as the basis of the lyrics. The title track uses John1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word was God….” Aaron sings about a tragedy, much like September 11th, and about the positive side of knowing that our awesome God is waiting in a place made by his own hands. Scripture is used again in the song, “You Are Free,” as he tells us about the woman at the well, the blind man who was healed, and Lazarus being raised from the dead. “Go and sin no more...I have set you free.” “Who I Am” is a soft, smooth song reminding us that we are like so many holy men and women of times past. Like Thomas we have our doubts. Like Moses, our spirit is strong but the flesh is weak. Like Elijah we hear his voice. We should try to be like Mary and let our soul proclaim his greatness. Another holy man that should not be overlooked is St. Francis of Assisi, as Aaron sings in “Flow Through Me.” This song is an almost rocked up version of the saint’s famous prayer “Make me an instrument of your peace.” The guitar solo by accompanying musician Doug Mann should not be missed! Mystical Radical God is a powerful CD that brings alive our struggles with reconciling God's love and mercy with the bittersweet nature of life, compelling us to dance, to sing, to hope, to praise God and cherish His great gifts.

Catholic Music Network
9/2002
- CATHOLIC MUSIC NETWORK


"Turn The Page"

Aaron’s newest CD, “Turn the Page,” is filled with songs of hope. From fun and funky to heartfelt and soulful, Aaron Thompson’s high energy and deep faith shine through each and every note of his music. Let Aaron’s infectious melodies and thoughtful texts draw you in to the wonderful and inspirational messages of his ministry.

At a recent concert in Salem, Massachusetts, one act that stood out and was extremely awesome was Aaron Thompson. I knew songs from his first CD, Mystical Radical God, but he gave us new ones at the concert from his recent CD, Turn The Page. This new CD has just as many directions musically, all reinforced with pure, solid lyrics that proclaim God’s love for us all. Take the song “Awestruck,” in which Thompson asks, with so many things going on in the world, why God would care for him and even die for him. It is an awesome thought! This song has one of those infectious melodies that will last even after the song is over. Thompson’s vocals radiate beautifully on “Dream 32603 (Two Gardens).” This song is inspired by the Scott Hahn book, “First Comes Love,” which looks for a connection between the families men and women create on earth and the Divine Family, the Holy Trinity. In the song we see Adam wanting a life with no death for him and his wife, while Jesus says yes to a death that would bring life to all.

In the moving “Disturb Us,” Thompson asks the Spirit of God to guide our choices and to light the fire in our soul for Him. This song will get your head rockin’ with its beat and extraordinary electric guitar work. That same guitar work is wonderfully done again in “Above and Below.” The mock eastern music opening is Thompson’s tongue 'n cheek joke since the opening line deals with Gandhi, who says that Christ had good advice but few Christians follow it. The gist of the song is that we may be the only Christ that anyone ever meets, so we should show the reason for believing in Him, by living in Him. One of our best examples of this is Our Blessed Mother, Mary. In the song, “Mary, Pray For Us,” Thompson honors the Mother of God giving reasons why she is blessed among women and the best intercessor there is.

The beautiful saxophone playing on this is not to be missed and blends wonderfully with Thompson’s soulful voice. Of course the most stirring song on the CD is the title track, “Turn The Page.” It is a song dedicated to children past and present who have experienced the betrayal of sexual abuse. Powerful vocals and lyrics tell us that these souls hold a special place in God’s heart, where He reaches out to heal where they are wounded and torn. It is really a tremendously touching song. Aaron Thompson will take you on a rollercoaster ride with “Turn The Page.” It is deep and soulful at one moment then high energy pop the next, but it never loses sight of the faith-filled messages in each song. Turn The Page is a CD that every Christian should own.
Catholic Music Network 2003
- Catholic Music Network 2003


"Aaron Thompson"

Aaron Thompson - Mystical Radical God
Location Arizona

Initial Impression
If you couldn't tell from the title; Yeah, it's really Gospel.

Notable Lyric
"One day job, I worked as a teacher, some whisper that I'm more like a preacher" from "Wayo".

Factoid
He recently toured with John Michael Talbot's Troubador label.
Serve With A Bible

Comments
We're wondering if he actually looked at the magazine before he submitted this. Then again, maybe he decided we needed some spiritual upkeeping (note to Spiritual Advisor
Viper: someone is horning in your territory). Aaron Thompson has produced a good solid contemporary Christian collection of tunes. Great to play on those "morning afters" when
you're feeling especially in need of forgiveness.

Reviewer Kimmie and Cristy (11/02)
- SCORE ROCKS MAGAZINE


"Turn the Page"

Turn the Page
Artist: Aaron Thompson
Label: Disciple Records
Length: 12/

Turn the Page is a plea from Aaron Thompson for its listeners to find comfort in God, and to move away for the things that hinder them from finding peace. The title track is dedicated to victims of sexual abuse, and speaks of healing the wounds that have been inflicted upon them:
Flowers can bloom in the desert,
Pain can subside with the passage of time
Truth can be spoken in whispers
Rivers can rest in the strength of the sea.
Turn the page…

Thompson’s style could be described as '80’s lite rock, that would come across better in concert than on CD the guitars here are muted in order to make the vocals heard. His vocals are especially song on “Mary Pray for Me”, even if his theology is questionable.

“Great and Eternal God” is a nice contemporary worship song. “Is It True?” is the most pointed song, challenging those who would claim to be Christians to prove it in the way that lead their lives, so that others can believe what they are claiming.

Turn the Page is authentic, in that its message rings true, and Thompson’s voice shows that the album isn’t just thrown together. There is a lot of truth here that we would all do well to listen to.

Brian A. Smith 3/7/2004
- Phantom Tollbooth 2003


Discography

Blessed One © 2005
Turn the Page © 2003
Mystical Radical God © 2002
Days of Grace © 2001
If You Sorrow © 1999

Photos

Bio

Aaron Thompson most recent release, Blessed One, is a CD of traditional Marian songs, some with a new twist. Turn the Page was a strong follow up to his popular Mystical Radical God. Ranging from the fast and fun to the edgy, the music on this CD again moves us -- body and soul -- as songs delivered in driving guitar rock smoothly gives way to simpler songs of belief and encouragement.

This contemporary recording artist appeals to all ages and backgrounds. It's awesome to feel the high energy and faith that pour forth from this man, and to see it ripple through crowds of youth and adults alike. His music has managed to touch small gatherings at a Christian cafe or bookstore to crowds of more than 10,000. Aaron has the ability to write vulnerable heartfelt songs such as Days of Grace and deliver them with the intensity of a thundering locomotive. His album, If You Sorrow, combines piano and vocals for a gentle comforting of
the soul.

Aaron is a rock solid musician - songwriter, performer and producer with his own studio, and a rock solid Christian. Along with his magical voice, Aaron is gifted with versatility in performing on keyboard, guitar and trumpet. He moves easily from performing solo to leading retreats to powerful full band concerts. Aaron, his wife, and three children live in Arizona.