Matthew West has proven himself worthy in the hit department ever since his single "More" dominated radio, and he has continually improved as an artist over the years. West's latest project, Something To Say will make you forget about every musical flaw in Matthew West's past. The lyrics alone have enough depth and emotion to satisfy any listener remotely happy with poetic lyrics.
The songs on Something To Say were written during a taxing time in Matthew's life, so there is a more personal aspect to this album than the two preceding it. The record proves miracles can happen, seeing as vocal chord surgery often alters one's voice. Following West's surgery, he had to remain silent for two straight months, and his latest release couldn't be more aptly titled because of it.
It has been nearly three years since History, the album that reminded everyone of why Matthew West is one of the most influential songwriters in the Christian music industry. A lot of musicians succumb to mediocrity after such a long hiatus. West misses that mark by a landslide with this underestimated release that will have a hard time lingering on the shelf. The first half of the record is upbeat, unrelenting in faith, and surprisingly intriguing. History was a fairly solid release that offered your typical fluffy pop sound, but with songs like "The Motions" and "The Center," Something To Say is anything but a buffet of the "same old stuff." "The Center" surprisingly has the pop stylings of TobyMac and if you did not know you were listening to Matthew West, you might think it was Toby was "Boomin'" through your stereo instead. Just when you think the song is about to become repetitive musically, West throws in some techniques that truly make the song his own. Similarities to such artists usually work to the musician's disadvantage, but West makes this light comparison satisfying. It's almost as if there's an added element that helps craft the record into something rare and memorable.
"Life Inside You" is an encouragement to all teenage girls who are pregnant, everyone who struggles with addiction, and all of those who are lost. This is the kind of song that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up - a song that changes you for the better. "The Moment of Truth" asks listeners to look at what Jesus gave on the cross when they are wondering what they have to lose with taking that next pill or ending life altogether. West isn't afraid to tackle the heavier song topics. The album ends with "Stop The World," a song begging God to block out all worldly things, so the focus can be on Him. The song rounds out the album and brings it out to a close in a slow, yet spiritually calming way.
Something To Say is essentially a storybook of every Christian's life. The problems that have to be dealt with, the struggles with faith, and the importance of looking at the bigger picture. Fans were Happy with West's debut and excited to accept History as something of the past in his sophomore release. Hopefully they're ready to listen to what he has to say on his third effort. Every track on the album is worthy of a listen. This is one of those rare gem's that doesn't require the use of a skip button and this isn't the type of album that you forget two weeks after purchasing. This is the kind of record that influences people and solidifies an artist's career. Matthew West might have been silenced for a short period of time, but this album proves that he sure has plenty left to say.- Review date: 1/11/08, written by Jessica Gregorius
Record Label: Sparrow Records
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