CCM fans rejoice! Matthew West’s latest album, All In, is set to release Sept 22nd, and it’s definitely an album you don’t want to miss. Well known for sharing God’s message through his musical storytelling, West has sold more than 1.6 million albums and has been recognized over the past several years with four Grammy nominations, multiple Dove Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and a K-LOVE Fan Award, just to name a few.
An album which West declares as his most personal to date, All In features 14 deeply genuine and moving tracks. Over the years, West’s music has sparked many conversations between him and his listeners. For this album, he chose to use many of their stories as inspiration, along with some of his own personal stories as well. West shares that John 10:10 is his foundation, not only for this album, but also for his life. “Jesus tells us that he came to give us ‘life to the full.’ I don’t know about you, but I want to taste and see what ‘life to the full’ really is before it’s all said and done,” he explains. When listening to All In, it is quickly evident that West’s personal stories and those of his listeners contribute even greater to the relatable storytelling that normally shapes his music. Combined with his outstanding vocals and tight, seamless accompaniment, All In is an undeniable success and great achievement.
The album kicks off with its title track, which is an instant hit. After a fun, catchy introduction, the accompaniment becomes muted as West begins the first verse, though it soon joins back in with a welcoming groove. This track epitomizes West’s aspirations of completely submitting his life to God without holding back. As for the reward for this driven life, West sings “I believe that one day I will see your kingdom come and I wanna hear you say, ‘Welcome home my child, well done.’” This track is followed by “Broken Things,” a previously released song many listeners may recognize. West’s affirming lyrics share hope through the truth that no one is too scarred or unworthy to be used by God for His kingdom.
True to his intentions, West gets very personal in this album, notably with the track “The Sound Of A Life Changing.” The lyrics begin by detailing an experience West had as an aspiring musician in college at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. As he was in the stands, his soul was ignited in ways that ultimately lead to the moment he realized God’s purpose for his life. Interestingly, West invited Chapman to collaborate on this song, and the two can briefly be heard working together at the end of the track. In “Something Greater,” West reflects on the differences between his plans of moving to Nashville for a record deal and the journey God ultimately planned for him including a family and so much more. This song reminds us that our experiences aren’t always what they may seem because God is moving in the background and may be planning things we can’t even imagine.
West also uses the album to tell the stories of his listeners in powerful ways. Those looking for inspiration and encouragement will find a ready message with “POWER LOVE SOUND MIND” and “Never Ever Give Up.” When speaking of the former, West shares he was “inspired by Bryan, a soldier who wrote to me about his struggle with PTSD, and Raven, who’s struggling to figure out how to move on after her mom passed away.” This track has a unique style and at times is a conversation, as West delivers the verses in a monologue form, speaking directly to anyone who has encountered obstacles or fear in their life. The chorus explodes and pulses with power, building a rallying anthem to lift up those who are in the midst of struggle. In “Never Ever Give Up,” we hear a song West wrote with inspiration from Brooke, an 11-year-old who battled cancer over half her life. West encourages those who have been dealt a challenging hand to never ever give up, hold on, and show the world how to be brave.
One of the best parts of West’s music is his astounding ability to speak directly to your heart through storytelling, while at the same time using the song to praise God. His lyrics are like sitting with a close friend, as they give you the words of encouragement, comfort, or whatever you need to hear in that exact moment. In All In, a combination of great music and personal stories combine to make an album where each track has the ability to share a message we all need to hear at some point in our lives. To make sure you don’t miss this release, All In is available for pre-order today.