"Today is the first day of the rest of your life," Matt Maher belts out on the irresistibly infectious track "Hold Us Together," a sentiment that rings true for this stunning collection of worship and pop tunes. The Mesa, AZ, native's second album on Essential is an arrival that puts him in elite company and ushers him into the midst of the best and most well-known gospel artists of his day. Maher shares co-writing credits with the likes of Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Sarah Reeves, Jason Ingram, Marc Byrd, and Mia Fieldes (Hillsong). Impressive company indeed, but it is his confident yet vulnerable delivery that is the most endearing quality of the album. The juxtaposition of the fervent anthems "Shout of the King" and "No Greater Love" with the delicate "Letting Go" and "You Were on the Cross" fills listeners with a full range of emotions. Maher takes a big leap forward on this record and offers some of the better-written praise & worship tracks to come along in some time.
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AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson