Listen to the new album from May Angeles!
Listen to the new album from May Angeles!

JFH Staff Review

Matt Brouwer, Till The Sunrise

Matt Brouwer
Till The Sunrise

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 42 minutes, 50 seconds
Street Date: February 28, 2012

Back in the summer of 2001, it was nigh on impossible for the average listener to spin Matt Brouwer's curiously-titled debut album, Imagerical, and not feel an overwhelming sense of outright joy. Indeed, with its sparkling production, uplifting worship-oriented lyrics and shimmering dance-pop textures, the Nova Scotia native's freshman record seemed to put a certain lilt into the step of just about everyone who heard it. Of course, given the fact that it earned near-universal praise, sailed a pair of singles into the Christian pop Top 10, earned Brouwer a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) nomination for Best Gospel Album, and had many hailing the singer-songwriter as the year's best new artist, it seems likely that Brouwer, himself, was all but ecstatic with his present situation.

Critical acclaim and success at radio didn't translate into high sales figures, though, and, almost before the ink had dried on the liner notes, Brouwer began to view his meteoric rise to stardom as equal parts blessing and curse. The next pair of releases, 2005's Unlearning and 2009's Where's Our Revolution, were written during the ensuing season of disenchantment, introspection and uncertainty - the sum total of which was punctuated by the loss of Brouwer's father and sister. Not surprisingly, the praise-inclined lyrics and instrumental pep that lifted the inaugural project to its lofty perch were largely M.I.A. on the efforts which followed, replaced, for the most part, by somber, open-ended lyrical essays and correspondingly more subdued sonic backdrops.

At first listen, it would appear that Brouwer's latest offering, Till the Sunrise, is simply a continuation of the straight line traced out by its two most recent forebears. "Everlasting" and the equally pleasant title track echo the adult contemporary and easy listening textures found on Unlearning. "Wish You Were Here," on the other hand, mirrors the country-pop vibe of "The Other Side" from Revolution. At various other points, Brouwer ostensibly uses the pop and country textures of his last two outings as jumping off points for cuts like the dreamy, orchestrally-driven pop number, "One for Another," and the folk/rock/Americana fusion which forms the backbone of "Thornside."

For all of its musical similarities to Unlearning and Revolution, the new record finds Brouwer taking more than a few unexpected lyrical left turns. Inspired, no doubt, by his marriage to Hannah Ficker in 2010, "One in a Million" (Out of all the stars in the sky/ You're the only one that shines) offers convincing proof that finding a soul mate can, indeed, make all the difference in one's outlook. "Till the Sunrise" is similarly shot through with the relentless romantic optimism that springs forth from the hearts of those most deeply in love. Perhaps most importantly, though, the wording of spiritually-themed entries like "Everlasting" (You never let me go/ Your love has taken hold) and "Tonight" (You opened my eyes/ I can't wait to see the sunrise) provide welcome hints that the light of dawn may, at long last, be breaking on Brouwer's extended dark night of the soul.

Fans holding their breath for a return to Imagerical's worship-meets-Euro-pop stylings will have to wait at least one more album for that to happen. That said, although the better part of the new project lacks the buoyant, seemingly effortless, tunefulness and infectious immediacy that rendered the debut so enticing, it still has plenty to offer for those willing to listen closely. Indeed, these beautiful, exquisitely-crafted pieces tend to reveal their underlying treasures gradually, over time, rather than all at once. And even though the latest installment in Brouwer's catalog isn't stacked to the gills with sure-fire Top 20 pop hits like Imagerical, songs like "Ocean" and "One in a Million" are as strong as anything he's ever written and, along with the rest of the record, work together to make Till the Sunrise Brouwer's most consistent and impressive showing in over a decade.

- Review date: 1/4/13, written by Bert Gangl of

Listen to the new album from People & Songs


. Record Label: Black Show Records
. Album length: 11 tracks: 42 minutes, 50 seconds
. Street Date: February 28, 2012
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3
. Buy It:

  1. Till the Sunrise (4:11)
  2. Tonight (4:16)
  3. Thornside (3:23)
  4. Ocean (4:01)
  5. Everlasting (3:51)
  6. One For Another (3:51)
  7. One In A Million (2:58)
  8. Someone Else's Arms (3:28)
  9. Wish You Were Here (4:46)
  10. Love Can Find a Way (3:59)
  11. Outside, Inside (4:12)


Leave a Comment



go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive


(JFH Sponsor Spot)



Listen to the new album from People & Songs

Search JFH

This Friday, July 23, 2021
Anberlin As You Found Me (Livestream) (independent)
Jonathan Cain Oh Lord Lead Us - Single [Identity/Fuel]
Canyon Hills Worship Something About The Name - Single [DREAM]
Colony House Automatic (feat. Fleurie) - Single [Roon]
Cross Point Music Never Going Back [Centricity]
Christine DíClario All That Remains - Single [Capitol CMG]
Dreamers Land Of The Living - Single [DREAM]
Jason Dunn Billy Enforcee - Single (independent)
Equippers Worship Unified In Praise // All Glory (Live) - Single [DREAM]
Travis Greene Oil & Water (feat. Anthony Hamilton) - Single [Provident]
JUDAH. & J. Monty Irresponsible - Single [Capitol CMG]
Lonesome River Band Singing Up There: A Tribute to the Easter Brothers [Mountain Home Music]
Steven Malcolm All Is True - EP [4 Against 5 / Curb | Word]
Chris McClarney Speak To The Mountains EP [Capitol CMG]
Newsboys I Still Believe You're Good - Single [Capitol CMG]
Bryan Popin So Good 2 Me - Single (feat. Steven J. Collins) - Single [Little Boy Wonder]
Bryan Popin So Good 2 Me (LBWM Remix) - Single [feat. Steven J. Collins] - Single [Little Boy Wonder]
Social Club Misfits Feared By Hell (Reanimation) - EP [Capitol CMG]
Phil Thompson Lion of Judah [Integrity]
Carrie Underwood My Savior: LIVE From The Ryman DVD [UMG]
Village Lights Here is Our Hallelujah (feat. Sarah Kroger, Ike Ndolo & Ricky Vazquez) - Single [Integrity]

Next Thursday, July 29, 2021
Panther City Riots Say It Like You Mean It - Single (independent)

Next Friday, July 30, 2021
Coby James Mixtape Side B EP [Centricity]
Jonah 33 Bullet From A Gun - Single [Boleyn]
Vince Lichlyter Things I Need To Say - Single [Boleyn]
Make Sure Japanese Bonus Track - Single [Tooth & Nail]
NEEDTOBREATHE Into the Mystery [Centricity/Elektra]
Dottie Rambo Itís The Soul of Me (1968 Digital Reissue) [Provident/Sony]
Reba Rambo Reba Rambo (Digital Reissue) [eOne]
SongLab Simplicity (Live) - EP [DREAM]

For all release dates, click here!

Listen to the new album from Wade McNutt!

Listen to the new album from Jaime Masetta!