Album Review :
Matt Wertz - Weights & Wings

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Artist: Matt Wertz
Release: Weights & Wings
Label: Nettwerk Records
Release Date: February 2011
Reviewed by BMer

01. Don’t Come Easy (4:11)
02. Everything Will Be Alright (2:55)
03. Nobody’s You (3:11)
04. Running Back To You (4:35)
05. Family (4:08)
06. For The First Time (3:46)
07. Someone Like You (3:40)
08. Feels So Right (2:26)
09. Easier Tonight (3:31)
10. Gonna Be Good (4:02)
11. Somebody’s Gonna Love You (4:03)

Singer / songwriter Matt Wertz releases his fourth full-length album, his first since parting ways with Universal Republic Music Group. The new full-length is titled Weights & Wings and features eleven acoustic rock tracks, some brand new and a few we’ve seen before. After Matt parted ways with Universal he released a full-length live album for free, then the five-song EP titled While We’re Becoming. The EP showed a different style from the R&B influence that fans were used to hearing, the new restrained, folksy sound hinted that maybe Matt felt that Universal was having a little too much influence on his music.

Weights & Wings features a more authentic sound; gone are the smooth made-for-radio pop songs, replaced by honest authentic sounding story-telling songs. The album’s theme is relationships, and where in the past Matt sang about the struggles of finding love, Weights & Wings seems to have more of a feeling that Matt might have found what he was looking for. Songs like “Someone Like You” in which Matt sings “Baby I admit / I got used to loneliness. / I have been waiting for someone like you.” reflect on the better sides of relationships. Songs like “Gonna Be Good” encourages those in struggle “Listen to the crowd, angels calling out to you to bring you through…get up and fight, you know you should.”

Musically Weights & Wings has a much more honest sound, no more fattened bass and super-clean guitars, but more reverb heavy guitars and a rhythm section that sounds more like real instruments should sound. At some points on the album you get almost a folk / country feel like on “For the First Time” with a slide guitar and simple brushes on a snare. “Feels So Right” also had a little shuffle to it with it’s hand-claps and a twang-infused guitar solo to go with it. Weights & Wings is not country though, the second track on the album “Everything Will Be Alright” sounds more like you’re at the beach with it’s catchy hook “Why do we try when everything ends up fine? Everything will be alright.” The laid-back track is surely to one that is stuck in your head after the first listen.

While most tracks don’t standout quite like Matt’s previous hit songs “The Way I Feel”, “Carolina” and “Red Meets Blue” but they do have a major impact. “Running Back to You” is powerful with its subtle verse and booming chorus “Either way, I’m running back to you.” The song appears to be speaking to Matt’s faith, and feels like it’s the follow-up to his previously released track “All I Know” which he dubbed the thesis to his life. Matt sings “Where I’ve been all these years with you beside me. I can’t believe that you can love me all the same. How far I’ve grown, who I become, you’ll always find me. After all I’m the one who ran away.” The simple yet solid guitar-work on this song really help support the dynamics and the restrained verses are just ambient and smooth.

OVERALL While Weights & Wings might not be the most accessible pop rock album that fans were expecting from Matt Wertz, it is his most mature and honest work since the days before being signed to Universal. Combining Matt’s solid lyrics, his vulnerability and honesty, with his talent in song writing creates yet another solid album. Being a Christian in the secular music scene is always tough, by Matt Wertz sounds like he’s returning to the music that inspired him in the first place.