Matthew Barber The Story of Your Life

The major label debut from Ontario native singer-songwriter Matthew Barber follows on the heels of last year’s promising independent full-length, Means and Ends. Though it gets off to a respectable start with "Little Love,” which lands somewhere between Sam Roberts and the heart-on-sleeve radio rock of Pete Yorn, the EP takes a slight misstep with the pre-fab feel of "Tilt A Whirl.” Its lyrics, symptomatic of several other cuts, fluctuate far too much to be completely enveloping, delivering several questionable lines without a hint of humour or Joel Plaskett (the two receive production from Ian McGettigan) style coyness. Thankfully, Barber quickly gets back on his feet with the last half, proving himself as a clever songwriter and affecting vocalist. With songs as strong as the title track and "We’re Gonna Pay” treading the kind of folksy ground that the opening tracks barely alluded to, it becomes clear that Barber is a diverse and promising talent — let’s just hope he stays on the right track in the future. (Warner)