aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

"Happy" - Music Review

  • Anthony DeBarros CCM Magazine
  • 2004 10 Mar
"Happy" - Music Review

Artist:   Matthew West
Label:  Universal South

You’ve got to appreciate someone with the guts to sing, “I am a classic case of dysfunction!” Matthew West serves up that wry observation — and a few others — about life and faith on his debut, "Happy."

Cut from the same alt-rock singer/songwriter cloth as Shaun Groves, Jason Mraz and John Mayer, West demonstrates a knack for radio-friendly hooks with a voice that resonates like Delirious’ Martin Smith’s or slightly more mellow like Jeremy Camp’s. That factor gives songs like “The Turnaround” one of those choruses that’s utterly singable in a driving-in-the-convertible-with-the-top-down sort of way. Same goes for lead single “More,” which shifts with ease from melancholy, piano-driven Brit-rock to a big fuzz-guitar chorus.

Still, it’s hard not to feel that "Happy "comes off sounding a bit constrained. The drum loop and hip-hop intro to the title track had me anticipating more of that street-wise hipness, but the album largely rides on fairly ordinary alt-rock arrangements. Drawing on more diverse stylistic elements (something another new singer/songwriter, Paul Wright, does exceedingly well) would have elevated this good album to sonic greatness.

© 2004 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Click here to subscribe.