STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95900-17435 LABEL: SYF Music SFY11 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by James Howard-Smith
With six albums (this being his fifth) and tracks penned for big timers like CeCe Winans, Vince Gill and Donnie McClutchen behind him, Kyle is clearly a top rate songsmith. The piano is his weapon of choice, and here it leads us through 14 cuts of polished, professional pop. On this album at least, Matthews keeps the arrangements simple and uncluttered with no drum machines or Pro Tools in earshot. Instead there is a remarakable warmth and smoothness to these songs - even when it's upbeat it doesn't sound fast with "What Shall We Say?" conveying a kind of family movie vibe so that you can almost imagine a treehouse-building/gift-wrapping montage of happiness on the screen. Happiness and contentment are clearly the emotions Matthews is keen to convey. Though the mood is different as the sixth track opens ("They say what's done is done, and when the harvest comes I'll have to reap the crop I've sown"), this is quickly vapourised as a chirpy chorus declares Jesus "the friend of sinners - yeah, sinners!". The words are most personal, and perhaps deepest, on "A Son of My Own", where Matthews tells us that since becoming a father he's even more amazed by the Father's love. This is a fine set of songs by a skilled composer who isn't a bad singer either.
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