First, you should know that I feel incredibly inadequate to do album reviews. I have no experience recording or producing an entire album. Yet, I keep getting blessed by several folks asking me to review their recording. I hope someday I’ll be the one asking for the review, but until then, I’ll give my honest and raw opinion about what I hear.
Although the sound of this recording doesn’t have anything ground-breakingly fresh or unique about it the production, execution, and content are stellar and it is definitely a different sound than most worship music people are familiar with. Matthew has put together a group of very talented musicians and singers. And while it didn’t immediately make me go, “whoa, I’ve never heard anything like this before” (as in the case of Joe Day and Sojourn Music) it still stirs my heart and begs me to join in at the top of my lungs to the powerful declarations on the recording.
Matthew’s great strength lies in the energy of the “call”, giving us several “battle cries” if you will that could even be shouted with passion instead of just sung. There are so many love-song-esque worship songs and recordings out (which have there place) that it’s hard to find a recording that men specifically can really relate to. If there is one, this is it.
Apart from the one ballad on the recording, “Emmanuel”, this is a rock-guitar-filled charge to make God the center of our universe. Soaring guitars and lots of unison vocals give the majority of this recording the feel of being a new anthem for our generation. Another great strength of Matt’s songs are the straight-from-Scripture lyrics in many of them.
The majority of the songs on the EP are, from Matthew’s own words, “a prophetic call to this generation to awaken and unite as ‘one voice’ to see hope arise in the darkest places.” The addition of Emmanuel into the mix of songs is a welcome break after the relentless drive of the rest of the songs.
Sum it Up
Emmanuel is my favorite song on the recording, including great lyrics, lovely harmonies, and subtle production. The song is reminiscent of Lost Dogs and the added countermelody in the violin and bells reminds me of new things coming out from Sojourn Music.
While just a bit repetitive in parts, this EP is a great addition to any collection of worship music, but even more so, an important heart cry for a new generation. Head over to Matthew Reed music to listen to the recording, buy from iTunes or get a physical copy of the CD.
disclosure: Matthew gave me a free copy of his EP to review. All opinions are genuinely my own.