Since the time Matthew West burst onto the scene with his record-breaking smash More, there have been high expectations for the young singer/songwriter. Of course, much of his polish came from a successful career as a tunesmith; in addition to his career as an artist, West is a much-in-demand songwriter who has penned (and continues to pen) songs for many top names, from Rachael Lampa and Billy Ray Cyrus to, more recently, Rascal Flatts and Mandisa.
Wests strengths as a songwriterand, now, seasoned performercome to the fore with his latest, Something to Say. His first album of new material since 2005s History, West returns with a collection of big, dramatic pop/rock that both reinforces his reputation and expands his craft. Although no fewer than five producers participateBrown Bannister, Ed Cash, Christopher Stevens, Sam Mizell and Tim Lauerthere is a seamless quality to the album from beginning to end.
The albums opening notes set the stage, as bittersweet, cinematic strings melt away into the albums thesis statement, Something to Say, an up-tempo jaunt proclaiming that every living person has a God-given contribution to make to the world. From that point, much of the albumincluding songs like The Motions and The Centerrevolves around the need to live, to breathe, to do. Other songs are first-person and third-person stories dealing with the various stagesand challengesof life. Life Inside You reaches out to the lost and hopeless, Save a Place For Me is a tearful farewell to a loved one, and Safe and Sound is as lovely a welcome as a baby ever had.
In all, Something to Say is a welcome return for Matthew West. Its a solid collection of stories, well told, that bring comfort, hopeand food for the soul.
CHRIS WELL- CCMMagazine.com