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Brouwer’s "sleep" is a little restless
Posted September 08, 2008
By Nathan,

Canadian native Matt Brouwer’s newest album is projected as an album which is insightful and lyrically compelling. Early praise is cheap but one whiff of the title track of Where is our Revolution, Brouwers’ third CD, and it’s apparent that the praise for that track at least is not far off the mark.

Most adult contemporary are very dependant of their song writing abilities to carry the album since their music is generally simple; the most popular adult contemporary artists thrive on skillful music to go along with their lyrics like Mat Kearny, Brandon Heath, and new artist Jon Forman. Dispute a slow start with “come back around” Brouwer quickly drives interest with the light pop “beautiful now” and “Where is our revolution”. The title track starts with an acoustic guitar but when it hits the chorus it turns into an original quirky pop rock song with a very impressive tune. When it comes to ballads “running to begin” to among the most emotional piano based songs that is around, as emotion flourishes with a southern hint to the music.

But not all the ballads shine, as many fall into just one of the twelve tracks on the CD like “all the way”, “a good nights sleep”, and the unflattering “please say”. Fans’ wondering what Amy Grant is doing with her time these days will see her again on “The other side” in back up vocals with Vince Gill in the southern style ballad. “Writing to Remember (The North Horizon)’s” acoustic pop manages not to be dull with a more up beat refrain, and “a love that saves me” is energetic enough to keep listeners interested in a series of songs which are boring.

The album starts out poorly in terms of lyrical depth with a simple “come back around” (even though the song does say: ‘When your heroes have all let you down/And you find that your faith is unsound/Come to me dear, with your broken heart’) but as the entire album finishes spinning the song will one of the few pieces that indicate spirituality. A man searching for his salvation finds it in God and “all the way” (T’here’s a dark cloud over every step I take/Like a sickness that the body just can’t shake…I can’t make it on my own/Come and save me’) and “all I really want” suggests God.

After that the album stands on shaky ground because the focus is so fixed on girl/guy relationships it’s difficult to fully appreciate the great song “where is our revolution” which just stresses the need for a revolution in our nation (it claims: ‘Waiting for a solution that gets/Farther off everyday/The only thing I know is we’ll never make it alone’, but it doesn’t name whether it’s a spiritual revolution), and the thoughtful “sometimes”, but does it ponder eternity or what life could be like(‘Sometimes there can be so much more beyond what we see/Sometimes I’m amazed how we see the world in different ways’)? “A love that saves me” doesn’t even talk about what does save us but about a girl and “please say” is pretty pathetic when it comes to that same subject.

Song writing is pretty good on “running just to begin” but it’s depressing and it includes a mild profanity and it’s disappointing to see “The other side” dwell on spiritual matters for a the wrong reasons as it’s about a man who has lost his significant other and hopes that heaven is real so he can see her again (‘When all I really want is to believe/Is there a place on the other side’). Songs that run the edge of God and girl/guy clichés include “all I really want” and “Writing to Remember (The North Horizon)”.

Where is our Revolution will be pleasing to fans of the genre and songs like the title track and “running just to begin” will attract fans of good hard core adult contemporary and acoustic pop. The real issue is the lyrics God is there but so many relationship songs without His appearance is disturbing. Which side though tips the balance though? A tough question because Matt Brouwer doesn’t answer that so look to the final track for the conclusion.

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