Matt Wertz is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, as is evident on his third full-length release, Everything In Between. The combination of his soothing voice, polished guitars, and earnest delivery creates a refreshing listening experience for those weary of the overcrowded pop genre.
Wertz's record resembles a journal of a young man experiencing love, heartbreak, and longing. His first entry is "The Way I Feel," an upbeat confession of love for a special girl. The heartfelt "Carolina" follows, and has more of a folk feel. "Heartbreaker," the third track on the album, is perhaps Wertz's strongest, and it has become a live favorite. The remainder of Everything In Between continues Wertz's journey of love and heartache. Wertz's voice is a pleasing combination of smooth and raspy, and his sincerity forces listeners to empathize with his lovesick plight. Anyone who has experienced love and heartache can relate to Wertz's lyrics, especially on songs like, "5:19," which chronicles a young man eagerly awaiting a phone call from a girl. Wertz slows things down and touches on the spiritual in "I Will Not Take My Love Away." While the meaning of the song is a bit ambiguous, lyrics like, "In plenty or in poverty, forever, always look to me, and I will give you what you need, I will not take my love away," hint at a love greater than that between a man and a woman. Wertz takes on a Latin feel on "Naturally," and surprisingly, it works well. "Capitol City" ends the album, and it finds Matt in a quiet, contemplative mood.
Everything In Between is an album that most anyone can enjoy. Wertz has infectious charm, and one wonders how anyone could break the heart of someone with such a sweet voice. The album is at times over-produced, and might do well to scale back and let Wertz's raw talent shine. Wertz may not write the most profound lyrics, but his songs are easily relatable and a whole lot of fun. Those looking for an overt spiritual message will not find it here. What they will find, however, is a talented young man who is not afraid to let the world know what his heart feels.- Review date: 4/29/07, written by Laura Nunnery
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