Released September 25, 2012
Reviewed By Emily Kjonaas
Most musicians write songs based off of their own personal experiences. In 2010, Matthew West strayed from this typical song-making scene when he invited people to share their stories with him. He has previously said that he wasn’t expecting so many people to write to him however Matthew received, and read, over 10,000 stories. Out of those stories, The Story Of Your Life was born. Once the album was out, the stories didn’t stop pouring in. Into The Light is the product of 12 more stories that Matthew was sent and is his sixth studio record.
For all intents and purposes, this is a continuation of The Story Of Your Life. These records could have easily been made into one, or at least a 2-disc set, because they’re no different. If you’re a fan of that record, you will appreciate Into The Light.
Starting off this record is the title track, “Into The Light”. It’s an upbeat song that calls us to ‘come on, come on out of the darkness, come on, come on out of the night, no more, no more living in the shadows now, step into the light” and allow the light of Christ to shine through us. Track three is the first single, “Forgiveness”, that was released to radio as a single in July. Many fans have been able to relate to this song, after all, we all struggle with forgiveness.
A song I would like to highlight is “Moved By Mercy”. When I first listened to this record, I was also studying for an exam so I wasn’t paying as much attention to the songs as I do otherwise. I find that doing something else, alongside listening to the music, better allows me to pick songs that stand out. This song stood out and has to be one of my favorites from Into The Light. Accompanying, Matthew West on this song is a member of Taylor Swift’s band, Caitlin Evanson. I absolutely love the sound, the raw emotion that she added to this song. In this song, she takes the part of a person who is asking God for help and Matthew seems to be singing what Christ would say in response to her cries of: ‘Take me far away now; from this broken place now; somewhere they can’t hurt me; I want to be moved by mercy; Jesus I can’t see you; I just know I need you; help me start a new life; let my heart be moved by mercy.’
Closing out the record is “The Power Of A Prayer”. I believe that this song is about a family where the parents are fighting and the son is praying for his dad to ‘bring his heart back home’. However I feel that this is another song that we can relate to, in meaning, because we all struggle with the moments of wondering if God truly does hear us when we pray. I know I do. Matthew put into lyrics and melody what I sometimes wonder myself: ‘Just a whisper in the dark, spoken from a broken heart, holding onto one last strand of faith, somewhere in the world right now, a desperate soul is crying out, hoping Jesus really hears us when we pray’.
Without knowing the stories behind these songs, it’s not too difficult to discern what they’re about. Like his previous record, I find myself able to relate to most, if not all of these songs. And a few more favorites include: “Hello My Name Is”, “Do Something”, and “We Are the Broken”. If you like his previous record, The Story Of Your Life, you will appreciate this newest offering. Matthew West chose to write yet more songs about his fans’ stories and no matter who you are, you can relate to some of the songs on Into The Light.
- Into The Light
- Hello My Name Is
- Do Something
- Moved By Mercy
- We Are the Broken
- Wonderfully Made
- Waiting on a Miracle
- Love Stands Waiting
- The Power Of A Prayer