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Grace Upon Grace
Posted February 13, 2020
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need to Know:
Known for his energetic and worshipful live shows and his recent hit songs, “Hello, My Name Is,” “Broken Things,” “All In,” and “The God Who Stays,” Matthew West returns with a worshipful project Brand New, his first album on Provident Label Group/Sony Music. The very relatable and transparent words of these songs perfectly depict our daily walks as believers wrapped around catchy songs. All the tracks really display the musical and lyrical excellence and intentionality of Matthew West. These are catchy melodies and biblically based lyrics reflecting unashamed faith. Every song on this stellar collection displays Matthew’s heart. I've previously spoken with Matthew about "My Own Little World," "Strong Enough," "Forgiveness," "Do Something," "Day One," “Grace Wins,” "Broken Things" and “Becoming Me” for behind the song devotionals.
 
What it Sounds Like:
West can really write a hooky and truth-filled chorus, and lead single “The God Who Stays” is catchy, relevant and worshipful like his previous hit songs “Grace Wins” and “Forgiveness.” The song is a great confession of faith. “Brand New” features Matthew’s tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey. Every lyric is sung about faith in our God Almighty, sprinkled in with Matthew’s clever lyrics and earworms including the upbeat and fun songs, “What If,” “Walking Miracles,” and “Love on the Radio.” You’ll enjoy the pop culture references in “The Me You Made.” If you’ve always liked Matthew West, this album will absolutely connect with you.
 
Spiritual Highlights:
“The God Who Stays” reminds us, “No enemy can separate, No power of hell can take away, Your love for me will never change.” Other spiritual highlights include “Brand New,” “Walking Miracles,” “Truth Be Told” and “Not Today.” The poignant “Looking Up” is a stirring song with a convicting declaration: “I know those eyes are looking up to me, that’s why I’m looking up to You." Like previous West albums, these songs are all filled with spiritual truth. The hope of the Gospel is heard loud and clear. “Grace Upon Grace” ties the album’s theme of God’s never-ending faithfulness and grace that runs through the album together with the hymn-inspired lyrics: “Singing, What can wash away my sin? Make me new again, Nothing but the blood of Jesus, What can make me white as snow? No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
 
Best Song on the Record:
I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album, especially the chorus of “Brand New”—“He's making you new, He's making you new, He's healing your heart right where you are, If only you knew, He's lifting your shame, He's changing your name, And when you look back, the only thing that you’ll see is His grace has been making you brand new.” Those prayerful words set the tone for these songs that are filled with the truth of God’s unending grace. “What If” is an upbeat and engaging song in the vein of “Do Something,” and “Day One” which are among my favorite Matthew West songs. I find myself singing the worshipful lyrics throughout the day, “What if today’s the only day I got, I don’t wanna waste it, If it’s my last shot, oh, No regrets in the end, I wanna know I got no what ifs.” The ballad “Grace Upon Grace” is an especially beautiful song. The faith anthem is the cry of my heart, “Wave upon wave of grace upon grace. Endlessly washing my sins away, I know the only reason I can stand here free of all my shame, Is wave upon wave of grace upon grace.” There are several stand-out songs, and my favorite song “The God Who Stays” is a gorgeous offering of praise to the only One who has the power to save. It is a very sing-able song, and I love singing the bridge, “My shame can't separate, My guilt can't separate, My past can't separate, I'm Yours forever.”
 
For Fans Of:
Casting Crowns, Big Daddy Weave, MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North

Final Word: 
With a probing spiritual curiosity and imaginative, self-examining lyrics, this album solidifies West’s place among the finest song crafters of his day. West’s poignant songwriting is coupled with musical excellence as each song urges me to better see God. This album is sure to connect with all listeners who like catchy songs filled with truth and yearning for God. West invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way, you’ll feel like you are a lifelong friend after you hear this album. This new album demonstrates once again the passion and energy that have made Matthew West one of Christian music's most compelling artists. True to form, this new project Brand New reflects real life and emotion, from longing and struggle to breakthrough and gratitude, with West’s forthright songwriting and intimate and unmistakable vocals backed by powerful and poignant musical arrangements. It derives its power from the fact that life and music intertwine so fully. These are very passionate songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically-based lyrics expressing “Grace Upon Grace.” There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful songs mixed with West’s signature fun and catchy expressions of faith. This album is Matthew West’s best overall, and sure to be one of my top albums of the year.

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