Mar 2, 2012 CD Reviews
Posted by wiegmake
Till the Morning
Black Shoe Records
Grade – A+
It’s a new day for Canadian singer/songwriter Matt Brouwer. Armed with beautiful melodies and poetic, expertly-crafted lyrics, his latest project “Till The Morning” can’t help but inspire. The recurring themes of hope and redemption are carefully woven throughout each track. Matt’s recent marriage combined with his faith serve as inspiration for the very personal, journal-like album.
“Ocean” served as the album’s flagship single. It’s a beautiful piano-driven track in which Matt shares encouragement and hope with the isolated, lonely, and lost. The artful, very personal lyrics reach deep into the sadness and fears many people live with. The chorus is beautiful as Matt sings (“Peace like a river is surrounding me when my whole world is a raging sea / only Your light is what my soul has found – Lost on the ocean”), a subtle reference to the timeless hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. The song points to the only anchor we will ever need – the anchor found in Christ alone.
“Thornside” is sung in the form of an almost allegorical story of a young man from the fictional town of the same name, who finds salvation and freedom. The clever narrative boasts excellently-crafted lyrics and carries a distinctively country / southern rock flare with a strong, stomping beat. The energetic, anthemic track is is driven by rich, southern gospel choir vocals and causes Matt’s crisp, clear vocals to shine in contrast to the deep, guitar-driven backdrop. Slight touches of harmonic and banjo add to the overall effect. “Thornside” is fun, fresh, and energetic. Matt’s excellent songwriting skills are definitely out on display – he’s created something truly unique.
“One In A Million” is one of the love songs inspired by Matt’s recent wedding. A beautiful, deep piano sets the stage for “Someone Else’s Arms”, another love song, that could very well be from God to a prodigal, searching child of His.
“Outside Inside” is the perfect closer to Matt’s latest, deeply personal project. He co-wrote the song with a friend just after the devastating tornado that swept through Joplin, Missouri last year. The song, which was also inspired by the tragic, untimely death of Matt’s father, poignantly speaks of loss, but sheds light on the power of hope. Gentle guitars lead into a very profound, beautiful finale. Matt’s soft vocals glide through a quiet, stringed background resulting in an ethereal, almost dreamlike atmosphere.
“Till The Morning” is a very strong album, created by a very talented musician. Matt is an artist in every sense of the word. I’m continually taken back by his profound lyrical style. Many of the tracks would be right at home on Christian radio stations. It’s impossible to miss the sincerity behind Matt’s newest project. The album left me feeling refreshed, inspired, and with a renewed hope in the God Who can do anything! “Till The Morning” is a masterpiece and easily one of the strongest albums of 2012.
– Tom F.