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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Matt Wertz


(Nettwerk, 2011)

I consider it a favorite album of mine, but the fact that half of Matt Wertz's 2006 Nettwerk release "Everything In Between" was replicated on his major-label effort "Under Summer Sun" less than two years later, plus the relative lack of appeal of any of the latter album's new tracks, gave me very little reason to buy it. So it's mostly understandable that his name wasn't high on my new release watch list another two years on. But, curiosity (and a couple of catchy song clips) got the better of me, and I decided to give his new album a try. Two listens in, however, I'm still only lukewarm to this album.

The overriding theme is love and relationships (although, when you think about it, that can probably be said of the majority of albums out there), and the songs tend to sound similar more often than not -- though I don't know if one of those characteristics necessarily has to do with the other. "Nobody's You" is the first track off this set that I came to love, possibly because it's reminiscent of "Over You", my favorite cut from his '06 album. I've also started warming to "Running Back To You", with its broad, almost power-ballad feel, and the lilting bounce of "Someone Like You", but none of the other tracks have made an impression on me yet.

Still, even though the ingredients seem the same, the snap, crackle and pop they created on "Everything In Between" is absent on this disc, or at the very least not as evident. If you were looking for a continuation -- a "disc 2" of sorts, with b-sides and outtakes -- of that album, or just another excuse to hear Matt Wertz's charming and likeable vocals, this album will satisfy you nicely; it'd be great for something to play in the background and not necessarily call attention to itself. But if you're looking to have your ear truly grabbed, you may need to look elsewhere.

Buy it digitally on iTunes
Buy it on CD from Amazon

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