Since his fourth album, Something to Say, Matthew West's popularity has certainly increased. Whether it's his experience writing the single "Something to Say" while he was unable to speak, or singing the most played song on the radio in 2008, recently West has been able to endear himself to more fans. In order to give fans something to chew on in between full-length projects, Matthew West seems to have jumped on the EP bandwagon, and now gives us The Writer's Room: An Acoustic EP.
The title is a little deceptive, however, as all the real writing was done a year ago at the minimum, and all of the tracks were previously available in the acoustic version on Something to Say Special Edition. But beginning the EP is "Something To Say," which is still very upbeat, although the lack of music in the bridge leaves West singing nineteen ‘na nas' practically by himself. The piano which drove "You Are Everything" is replaced by the guitar in the acoustic tune, but lacks the emotion that the original had. "Only Grace," off of West's album, History, doesn't undergo much change, and the acoustic pop sound of "More" leaves me thinking it should have been either more up tempo or more of an inspiring ballad. A bonus song from Something to Say, "My Favorite Part" is an uncomplicated lullaby that does illustrate God's existence through his creation (‘God loves us/ God is real and you're the proof/ 'Cause only God could make an angel like you'). "The Day Before You" was an odd choice for the EP as the guitar-driven contemporary pop tune was also originally released on History and doesn't represent any great chart conquest.
One other deceptive aspect of The Writers Room: An acoustic EP is that while Matthew West is skilled at writing engaging songs, the song selection tends to lean towards the more generic radio-friendly lyrics (lines ‘There's only grace/ There's only love/ There's only mercy and believing' and ‘I love you more than the sun/ And the stars that I taught how to shine' make up the core foundations of "Only Grace and "More" respectively). It's extremely likely that only diehard fans of Matthew West picked up Something to Say Special Edition, but it will take fans that die harder than diehard fans to pick up The Writers Room: An acoustic EP.- Review date: 4/27/09, written by Nathaniel D. Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Sparrow Records
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