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Christian release urges listeners to get ‘Happy’

Rebecca Saunders | Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Happiness is not quite a virtue, but Matthew West would probably think that it should be. West is a new, up and coming Christian singer/songwriter who’s single “More” is topping Christian charts all over the country. The Chicago singer has been writing songs since college and touring for years, but has not yet experienced the success he has found with his new album Happy. With an album cover displaying his feet next to a pair of feet in clown shoes, West seems to be a genuinely happy guy. His silly nature shows through in his album and his song’s messages, yet an incredibly deep spirituality is also apparent. The album is a good mix of slow, fast, serious and “happy” songs.Happy has some good songs, a couple of great songs and a couple of less than good songs, but there is not a below mediocre song on the album. One of the strongest points of the album is the hit single “More.” “More” is a huge ballad that sounds like a Christian hit, and that is exactly what it has become. With strong and beautiful lyrics throughout the song, “More” is a definitive Christian song. “More” sings of the unconditional and infinitive nature of God’s love. West sings, “I love you more than the sun and the stars / that I taught to shine / you are mine and you shine for me too.” There are not many ways to say that more eloquently or beautifully, and West certainly sounds great singing it. Another huge high point on the album is “Every Second,” another Christian ballad, but with a bit more of a rock flavor. “Every Second” could be interpreted as a love song, or a love song to God, either way it is a beautiful song that proclaims, “I don’t want to let this moment fade away / I want to soak up every single second / I just want to fall in love along the way / I just want to soak up every single second / In your presence.” Again West finds a way to express an emotion that would simply leave others speechless, and he does it all to a great melody that will stick in listener’s heads for days (as soon as “More” gets out of there). Happy also has a good deal of faster, more upbeat songs. “The Lie” is an impressive, somewhat rock-infused track that talks about the lies that people tell you, betrayals by friends, etc. “I Can’t Hear You” is also a great track that hits even closer to the rock genre. “The End” is another song of the same type with a hint of folk paired with hopeful lyrics. West sings about how bad situations aren’t “The End,” crooning, “Sometimes it rains all over your parade / It’s like reaching for the sun and landing in the shade / But it’s not the end, the end of the world.”Overall Happy, Matthew West’s newest album, is a good listen with some great songs. The lyrics are excellent and worth listening for. The hit “More” is the best part of the album; Happy is not going to blow many away, but it just may make them a bit “happier.”

Contact Rebecca Saunders at rsaunder@nd.edu