Matt Brouwer

Matt Brouwer


Matt Brouwer "TAKES A STAR TURN" boasts the Houston Chronicle (August 2009). The release of his latest, "Where's Our Revolution" (Black Shoe/Universal-2009)is a career defining achievement for Matt Brouwer and sets him above the fray. The CD, produced by Michael Omartian has been called, "georgous".

Band Press

CCM Europe's Review of Unlearning – Monica Seidler

"Absolutely perfect! "Unlearning" is a mature and sensitive project with a personal 'indie' feel that draws listeners into the lyrics. The music on this disc gets better and deeper with every listen. It can be felt that the distance from Nashville and the anchorage in the ministries of the church have given Matt Brouwer an artistic freedom and intellectual depth. Fans of Jars of Clay and alt-country/folk-rock music might find access to this album better than fans of slick pop. "

Unlearning review – Jackie A. Chapman

The new Matt Brouwer record Unlearning introduces a Matt Brouwer with new direction, musically and lyrically. Gone are the heavily produced tracks and the more pop/rock-driven melodies. In their place is Brouwer’s band, comprised of only the essential pieces, that opens a door to simplicity, the best vehicle for the lyrics that Brouwer crafted. Songs explore how life’s concerns intersect with God’s words so that one can express faith in the most honest and real way possible.

Some of Unlearning’s most poignant moments come in songs that concern his family. Brouwer pours his love and belief for a family member into the plaintive, striking “Surrender”: “It’s deep inside where you regress, you’re incomplete and fatherless, there’s so much anchored bitterness that you hold, let it go.” The song “Unfamiliar” speaks to Brouwer’s father, who died when he was 3-years-old, and almost sounds as if Brouwer’s still w orking through the effect of his death so many years later.

Another highlight, Brouwer’s version of Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe” is beautiful, simple and convincing, giving new life to the word believe. Joined by Kendall Payne, Brouwer reaches moments of feeling that make him sound much like Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine.
The result of Brouwer’s change in both surroundings and perspective on life, Unlearning is about stepping back and looking again at the rules of the game, about rethinking where efforts should be directed. There is a more somber feel to Unlearning but it’s a passion refocused, an important release.

"Where's Our Revolution" - A rich, satisfying album – WL Magazine

Matt Brouwer's third CD, "Where's Our Revolution", is a gorgeous piece of work that features 12 new songs plus three bonus live/demo tracks. Produced by legendary keyboardist Michael Omartian (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson) and featuring guest appearances by Vince Gill and Amy Grant, this CD has all the right stuff in all the right places. Great songwriting by Brouwer (with help from co-writers Jeffery Armstreet, Ian Nickus, Jayson Belt, and Michael Omartian) sets the stage for sumptuous arrangements that are extremely accessible to listeners of contemporary modern pop-rock (think Matchbox 20) and yet have enough depth to reward repeated listening.

The lyrical craft is accessible and engaging, especially in songs like the lead-off track "Come Back Around." In phrases like "When the words that have changed you for good turn out to be misunderstood, come to me dear, with your broken heart," Matt demonstrates a tenderness...and an understanding of the way that real life can collide with faith. The vocal performances are very appealing without being technically dazzling, apparently aiming to invite listeners into the songs rather than blow them away with acrobatic vocal ability.

Where's Our Revolution would probably be most appealing to fans of modern singer/songwriters such as Rob Thomas and Jason Gray.

Matt Brouwer: Unlearning "Matt Slices open a vein..." – Kevan Breitinger

Last year's "Unlearning," from Matt Brouwer, is more than just a collection of well-crafted rock songs delivered expressively. He slices open a vein for our edification.

I loved the solid, sensitive songs, offered always with both artistry and sincerity. But what stunned me was its honesty, its vulnerability. Matt Brouwer wrote the songs of "Unlearning" during a season of searching, and he holds nothing back from any listeners who may be enduring the same kinds of struggle. It is an act of generosity that I find hugely compelling and appealing. The fact that the music is equally excellent makes "Unlearning" a must-have record.

Brouwer garnered national attention relatively quickly following the release of 2001's "Imagerical", after the disc became a worship favorite in churches across North America and earned him numerous awards and nominations. But much of the 'success' it brought him raised questions that were not easily answered, some of them the kinds of questions being asked within the industry today. The aptly-titled "Unlearning" openly shares the spiritual and emotional wrestling that took place within the young singer/songwriter's heart during that long season.

These rockers are hook-rich and well-written, with muscular guitars balanced against subtle, sometimes delicate, electric noodling moments. Containing a quiet sense of hope, they bravely examine those moments of doubt, fear, and wonder that we all face, if we dare to look beneath the surface of the day's frenetic pace. The honest and insightful "Surrender" contains these confrontational lines: "London, LA, Tokyo/ anywhere you want to go/ but you can't escape yourself/ its deep inside where you regress/ you're incomplete and fatherless/ there's so much anchored bitterness that you hold/ let it go." Yet the track would have to be described as encouraging in its message and its tone. Therein is the beautiful dichotomy of "Unlearning", explaining, in its essence, its deep worthiness: it is true to life. The title track is nicely accented by Josh Grange's pedal steel as it considers the truths lying below the surface of daily life. This track and several others (the sonic delights of "If You Stay" and truth-heavy "Why Can't We Be Honest") also includes free-flow jams on the way out, a feature that I enjoyed thoroughly. Brouwer digs in so deep in these musical gems of examination, that those free flow endings provide release, a visceral sense of exuberance, of healing.

A moving song of great vulnerability, "Unfamiliar" expresses Brouwer's yearning for the father he lost at an early age. It too is faith-filled, even in its deep loss. The superb Kendall Payne joins Brouwer for a rich cover of Sheryl Crow's "I Shall Believe", their voices blending movingly over sweet electric guitar tidbits. Brouwer throws himself in surrender at God's feet on the well-crafted closer, "Redemption Hymn", delivered with straightforward simplicity and passion. My only regret at the album's end is that I had not found it sooner. But the good news is that Matt Brouwer is releasing "The B-Sides Recording, Volume 1" very soon. Look for the Suite review next week.

Matt Brouwer- Unlearning, "music that makes you want to down a few bottles of red wine while sitting in the living room by yourself and just a fire burning" – Small Town Low Down- Scott Garner

So I'm Listening to this new CD I got, Matt Brouwer- Unlearning (Black Shoe Independent Records), and I can't stop thinking about how it's just a little too depressing for me. I mean I like the melodies, the instruments sound fantastic, but song after song is about losing something or trying to get back on your feet? I keep thinking that it sounds more like Christian music than the normal stuff I listen to. Then I notice when I have it playing in the office and the younger staff members hear it, they instantly stop and ask who it is and if they can borrow it when I'm done listening to it. I guess I'm starting to get old and set in my ways. I'm thinking if you're under 30 years old, maybe lost a loved one recently, been dumped in the past few months or just like music that makes you want to down a few bottles of red wine while sitting in the living room by yourself and just a fire burning, this is some good stuff!

-Scott Garner Review - Where's Our Revolution – Jackie Chapman - Editor

Matt Brouwer's new album Where's Our Revolution is his best work yet. Hands down. This is an album of pop hits and spiritual moments, musings of home and longings for relationship. These songs are filled with daring hope, brilliant dreams and tender love. Over the last several years, Matt has traveled many roads and experienced much in life and I believe he's poured every ounce of that into Where's Our Revolution.