Oct 5, 2010 CD Reviews
Posted by wiegmake
Story Of Your Life
Grade – A+
Matthew West has become a major player in the Christian Music scene, since his first studio album, “Happy” in 2003. The three succeeding albums continued to touch lives of his listeners with many well-known hits including “More”, “History” “You Are Everything” and his latest single, “My Own Little World”. The latest chapter in his career, “The Story Of Your Life” continues to build upon the profoundness fans have come to expect. Matthew West took a new approach to writing the album-an approach few have attempted before. Through websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and his own website, asked listeners to send in their personal stories. The outcome? A unique, encouraging album, inspired by listeners, for listeners.
The album kicks off with the energetic “Story Of Your Life”, setting the stage for the remaining 10 tracks. The song introduces the album’s theme and background with lyrics such as “This is the story of your life, you decide how the rest is gonna read” and “this is your chance between the lines to re-define what kind of legacy you leave”. West compares the lives of listeners to unfinished books, encouraging them to live every moment to its fullest and make their ending a good one.
“My Own Little World”, the first single from the record, was inspired by every story sent in, said West. Stories of joy, tragedy, fear, and frustration gave him a unique opportunity to see life through others’ lives. “I felt like I’d been given a window into their world” he stated in an interview. The lyrics and stories woven throughout the song clearly convey the desperation for us to get outside our “own little worlds” and reach out to those around us. The last verse, “Father, break my heart for what breaks yours. Give me open hands and open doors. Put Your light in my eyes and let me see that my own little world is not about me” became his prayer for the album, and will quickly become the cry of every heart who hears this song. He encourages listeners to look past their own “population me” and see what really matters in life.
“One Less” was inspired by the dozens of letters from people who were in or are now successfully out of the difficult adoption processes. Based on their stories along with Isaiah 1:17 (defend the cause of the orphans), as the stories were read, West realized there was “one less broken heart in the world”. The song is based around a couple who welcomed a young girl into their family, making “one less broken heart in the world tonight”.
“To Me” was inspired by people, especially teens and pre-teens going through the hardships middle school can bring. Countless students go through the “need” to fit in tand “look good” every day, but can’t see how much their Heavenly Father loves them, just the way they are. The lyrics read from the stand point of a parent, ultimately Jesus, as a message of encouragement. “To me you are Heaven’s finest invention by far, even brighter than the brightest star. What I’d give to make you see who you are (to Me)” remind listeners to just “be”. The duet, sung by Matthew West & Leigh Nash of Sixpense None The Richer, is one of my favorite tracks on the album.
“The Reason For The World” serves as a powerful reminder for listeners to keep their eyes on Heaven and remember that life’s hardships and pain will ultimately come to an end. With soaring vocals and sincere lyrics, “Reason For The World” is potentially the most encouraging track on the album. “Maybe the reason for the pain, is so we would pray for strength. And maybe the reason for the strength, is so that we would not lose hope. And maybe the reason for our hope, is so that we could face the world. And the reason for the world, is to make us long for Home.”
These are only a few of the tracks on Matthew’s latest album, and I sincerely encourage everyone to check check the album out. “Story of Your Life” touches on so many important topics and brings so many different messages of encouragement and love, that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. Longtime fans better prepare to be blown away (again) with “The Story of Your Life”.
– Tom F.
Tags: Matthew West