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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Story of Your Life
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
For his new record, The Story Of Your Life, Matthew West did something unusual: He turned the microphone around. Rather than write about what he was experiencing in his life, he asked his fans to submit the stories of their lives. When he opened up this opportunity to his fans, the message spread quickly - and soon almost 10,000 stories were submitted. Radio stations, media outlets, and retailers caught the vision and helped spread the word of this unique album. What emerged on The Story of Your Life is a powerful collection of songs that cover a diverse range of difficult subject matter.

The stories gave Matthew a window into what his fans had experienced in their lives. And they covered a wide range of human experiences and emotions. "My Own Little World" perhaps serves as a capstone to the entire album, describing a person who lived in their own "little world" and then was awakened to the bigger picture of need and God's work in the world. Following the great trend already established by Matthew West of completely transparent and vulnerable lyrics, "My Own Little World" addresses the truth of personal selfishness that most believers are too proud to admit. I applaud Matthew for once again convicting me that my faith is not just for me and God, but needs to be expressed in outward appreciation for what God has done for me. "Strong Enough" is the most vertical worship song and my overall favorite song on the album. It includes a great bridge "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, and I don't have to be strong enough." The song is based on Philippians 4:13 and is an uplifting, catchy and encouraging song.

Another of the album's strongest tunes is "To Me," which West wrote in response to a letter from a mother whose heart was aching over the way other kids cruelly treated her son in middle school. "So I wrote this song from the perspective of that parent," West explains, "and it says, `they don't know you like I know you and if they did I know they'd see. . .you are heaven's finest invention by far, so even brighter than the brightest star, what I'd give to make you see who you are to me.'" Another powerful song about parenthood is "One Less," a song about adoption that West cites as one of his favorites on the album. "There are a lot of stories that inspired this song, but there was one specific one from a family in Tennessee that went about trying to adopt this little girl from Guatemala," he relates. "It's an amazing story of redemption, both for the child and for the parents.""Family Tree" deals with a dysfunctional family and a girl whose dying homosexual father talked about the family legacy. The girl who submitted the story felt God speaking to her saying "You have My legacy because you are My child." It is a poignant and moving song and has a great affirming chorus from God's perspective: "No, this is not your legacy, this is not your meant to be, I can break the chains that bind you."

CLOSING THOUGHTS
From "More" to "You Are Everything" and "The Motions," I continue to hear a progression musically and lyrically from Matthew West. The Story of Your Life is yet another solid album from one of Christian music's most prolific singer-songwriters. Certainly "My Own Little World," "To Me," "Strong Enough" and "One Less" will all get heavy radio airplay and deserve recognition. Those songs all have very strong messages and are all catchy and uplifting.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I'm not a big fan of contemporary Christian music. Aside from its often bland pop aspects, it tends to whitewash the issues we all deal with--yes, even believers in Jesus. Here, in his latest album, Matthew West doesn't necessarily break any new musical ground in the genre, but he writes wonderful, catchy lyrics, and puts such honesty and passion into them that they become transcendent. He doesn't try to make his music something it's not; instead, he turns the spotlight on the listeners, penning songs that represent "The Story of Your Life."

After asking for people to send in their stories, West locked himself away in a cabin for two months and let these songs flow from those letters he had received from around the world. In the CD liner notes, he chronicles the individual stories that impacted each song, and this adds so much to the experience of this album. From the college-age girl whose plans were ripped away by a car accident ("Strong Enough") and the family who adopted a child from Guatemala ("One Less"), from the pain of generational sins, abortion, and divorce ("Family Tree," "The Healing Has Begun," "Two Houses") to the devastation of cancer and sexual abuse ("Survivors," "Broken Girl"), West rips our hearts out, allows us to deal with these things so often hidden away in darkness, and then asks God to come in and show us "The Reason for the World." He's even joined by Leigh Nash on "To Me," and her whimsical voice fits perfectly. Yes, put on the headphones, close your eyes in a quiet place, and let this song list go to work.

A few months ago, my brother, brother-in-law, and I heard Matthew West perform some of these songs for a small gathering. His care for the Lord and for those whom these songs represents was clear. All three of us turned to each other after the concert and said, "That's one album I have to get."

Well, I got it. I love it. Easily one of my favorites of the last year or two.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
This is a CD of songs that names the hurt and thus allows healing. I heard Matthew West perform this CD in concert and was so touched that I pre-ordered it after the concert. Be sure to go to his website and read the stories and the videos behind each song. My favorites are Broken Girl, Two Houses & Family Tree although I love them all. It is a CD that you will want to listen to every song. I guarantee one will speak to you. Get the CD today!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
When I first heard his CD "The Motions" I fell in love with Matthew West music. Then I heard about the Story of Your Life tour and had to see him in concert and fell in love with his new CD. I purchased it and listen to it all the time. I call it Soul Music!!! His songs are full of healing and inspiration. I have told many people to buy it that normally do not listen to Christian music. I can't even imagine how many people he will touch and lead to our Lord and Savior.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I fell in love with this entire CD after I attended my very first Matthew West concert. He performed at a local church in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca on Thursday Feb. 17, 2011. I want to tell you this, you will be extremely MOVED, TOUCHED, INSPIRED, and REACHED with this wonderful selections of songs. Matthew West is truly a WARRIOR FOR GOD. He took the time to reveal the true story and inspiration for each song by reading the letters that he chose from real people. I was crying like a baby at his concert. He performed EVERY SINGLE SONG on the CD. My favorites are The Healing Has Begun, The Reason For the World, Family Tree, Stronger, Surviors, and My Own LIttle World. Matthew West is truly an inspiration for us Christians. I beg of you, look on his site to see if he is touring near or close to where you live. I was moved beyond belief during his standing ovation performance. Do not miss this tour. I'm 6' 4", 270lbs and I cried like a little boy. A lot of the songs hit me hard because they reminded me of my own life. Matthew West, it was great meeting you in person. Keep up the good work. You are a true inspiration for those hurting out there.

TMS
Downey, CA
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Each song tells a story. Each story speaks to your heart. An amazing songwriter, Matthew West has done something incredible on this release...he has found the notes befitting each topic, while staying true to the depths each deserved. Moreover, he has pointed each one to the source of the healing each so desperately call for. The intro & wrap-up are the perfect transitions. As usual, he takes us beyond the ok, showing us the true Glory that is to come...and what it means for each of us. <3
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Having been a fan of Matthew West for quite some time, I still can't get over this CD. It's awesome! EVERY song is great. That statement is something I rarely ever make about a CD (the last one being Mary Mary's The Sound) the lyrics are so personal and so moving and yet the tempos and melodies change with each song, giving a wide variety of interest. If you don't own anything by Matthew West, get this CD!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
DISCLAIMER: My review is 100% biased as Matthew West's music really speaks to me.

My wife purchased Matthew West's "The Heart of Christmas" this past November for me, and I re-fell in love with Matt's style of singing and the truth of his words.

In this album Matt finds a way to speak the truth about God's great and unending love, while still providing "easy listening" music. Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit is alive and well with Matt and I appreciate his willingness to listen!

Each song is its own. The words he chooses speak from the heart, which gives a true meaning to what he sings about. And that's why I can load this album and turn it on repeat, and be satisfied for the better part of two or three hours.

If you're on the fence about spending the money on the album, listen to some of the album samples or find some of his music on YouTube -- I have no doubt that you won't be back!

Nick
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
I love Matthew West's music and have loved his "Happy" song for years. I recently bought this cd and fell in love with it as soon as I heard it. Every song has a good beat and great lyrics. Even though I couldn't relate to all of the songs (i.e. the song about divorce, abuse, etc), I still loved them and the message that they had. I love that Matthew West turned the tables to include his fans in these songs and share their message. So many of us have similar stories, so it's almost like writing a song to each of our hearts. Buy it! You won't regret it for a second:)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is a really good album. To me this is a must have album. I've had this album on repeat since I've gotten it. I've always liked Matthew West, but The Story of Your Life is his best album to date, and it's lyrics are based on true stories. I like his voice it's great. Some of the songs on the album are really emotional, you might even cry. This album is very touching. My favorite songs on this album are:
1. To Me
2. Broken Girl
3. The Story of Your Life
4. My Own Little World
5. Strong Enough
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