Matthew West History

History is the Christian country-rocker’s follow up to his 2003 debut Happy. This is partly a concept album as all the song’s deal with West’s "history” to date; the packaging even includes a timeline of these milestones in his life, and pictures of West from childhood. The first single ("Next Thing You Know”) is a fun, pop-oriented song that chugs along with West’s story of finding glory, while "Only Grace” is a lush ballad that speaks about a new beginning. Another highlight is "Get Away,” a song whose chorus screams with a sense of urgency and features a soaring gospel chorus at the end of song. "The Day Before You” is a heartfelt homage to his wife Emily, which Rascal Flatts recently recorded for their double-platinum Feels Like Today. While West is clearly steered and inspired by his faith, through catchy songs, he’s able to allow those who want to listen to his moral preaching hear, while others can just listen to the music for what it’s worth. (Universal South)