Provident Label Group
Release Date: April 22nd 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Wonderful Life
Over the past few years, I reckon one of the artists who has inspired me and impacted me immensely, is CCM artist Matthew West. Known for his singles “The Motions”, “More”, “You Are Everything”, “My Own Little World”, “History”, “Only Grace”, “The God Who Stays”, “Forgiveness”, “What If”, “Truth Be Told”, “Hello My Name Is”, “Day One”, “All In” and “Broken Things” to name a few; Matthew has also won and been nominated for Grammy Awards and Dove Awards. He’s also the host of The Matthew West Podcast; and he’s been reminding us all, time and time again over the years, about the power of a story. Since 2010, Matthew has been writing songs about his listeners and the stories they’ve been going through. The result has been a career that has been improving exponentially by the album. I’ve blogged about Matthew here, while Jon has also reviewed Matthew’s 2020 album Brand New. We’ve also voiced our opinions about Matthew’s latest singles “What If” (with Lathan Warlick) and “Truth Be Told” (with Carly Pearce). Matthew has also released his Christmas album We Need Christmas last year; but now it’s time for Matthew to release something new in 2022. His brand-new single “Me On Your Mind” dropped to stores a few months ago (and you can view our review for the near-flawless melody as well!). However, it’s time for something equally as profound and compelling- Matthew’s new single “Wonderful Life”, along with “Me On Your Mind”, is definitely one of the year’s best songs so far!
Lately I’ve had a habit of writing songs that make me cry. Maybe I’m getting soft… or maybe these past couple of years have changed me in some good ways. Too often I think we do anything we can to avoid feeling the feelings. Pain, heartbreak, loss… but the story that inspired this song really reminded me that life is all of it. It’s the broken AND the beautiful. It’s the “gone mad” AND the magical. It’s the awfully wonderful life. Life is hard but God is faithful. I don’t want to be numb to the feelings. I want to lean in and feel it all. To make the most of every second. To trust that God is working through it all, and that after this wonderful life is over, I’ll be going home.
Presumably from an unnamed album set to be released sometime this year, “Wonderful Life” is the opposite of “Me On Your Mind”. While the former is pure CCM pop, the latter is a heartwrenching, vulnerable and emotional piano ballad. Yet the lyrical genius from Matthew and his song writing prowess still rings true in each track; and makes both melodies (and “Wonderful Life” especially), one of the best CCM songs recently. With the track being inspired by a story from an everyday person and from someone like you and me (like how Matthew has been writing songs since 2010 based on his listeners’ stories!); “Wonderful Life” highlights just how special and precious this life truly is- with all of its ups and downs. Life may not be kind to us, but this life also shows us that God is holding onto us and is moving in our lives in ways we can’t possibly imagine or comprehend. As Matthew passionately and eloquently reiterates the sobering reality that ‘…it’ll send you flyin’ high, it’ll bring you to your knees, it’s the heartbreak and the happiness and everything between, it’s the laugh until it hurts, it’s the hurt until you cry, can’t have one without the other, it’s how you know that you’re alive, in this broken and beautiful, gone mad and magical, awfully, wonderful life…’; we are presented with a comforting and also harrowing track- a track that is simple yet equally profound in its concept. That though this life is complex, this life is still beautiful, and we can see Jesus in every aspect of our lives. Jesus loves us all immensely, and when He died and rose again, it was so that we can live this life with eternity on our mind, and know that despite life’s troubles and hardships, this life isn’t the end, and we can say boldly that it is wonderful with God by our side!
The experience [of writing songs about other people’s stories] changed not only how I make my music now, but how I view the world. I don’t see faces in the crowd at my shows, I see stories being written. Each story is unique, and each story can impact the world.
“[So Ron told me] that every morning he asks his hospice nurses to play one of my songs called ‘Strong Enough’. I was so moved by this story that I set up a call with Ron, and we met in the most 2020 sort of way — on Zoom! He spent the entire call encouraging me! Little did Ron know that at that time I was battling some serious discouragement and was pretty depressed about the circumstances around me. But here was a guy able to see past his own battle with ALS to show kindness to me. I’ll never forget that.
These past couple years have brought us tears, heartache, sickness and pain. But Ron taught me about the joy and the peace that you can find in this broken and beautiful, gone mad and magical, awfully wonderful life.
With a new album releasing possibly sometime this year, Matthew West remains to be one of today’s most inspiring and relatable artists. And his timeless songs are proof of this impact and influence; while “Me On Your Mind” is a refreshing, revitalising, powerful and joyous melody to hear, and “Wonderful Life” is a dependable yet honest and emotional ballad from Matthew that is sure to provide healing and comfort to many. Well done Matthew, I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you next! Are you all a fan of Matthew West yet? No? Well then listen to this song and the rest of his discography! I guarantee it you’ll be a fan by then!
Each life is touched by joy and pain, laughter and tears, hope and heartache. I pray that you will be moved by the power of this story today and reminded that life is hard, but God is still so good! It’s a broken and beautiful, gone mad and magical, awfully wonderful life. So, let’s go to the Story House with my new song “Wonderful Life”!
RIYL: Maddie & Tae, Micah Tyler, Sanctus Real, for KING & COUNTRY, Carly Pearce, Lady A, Florida Georgia Line, Sidewalk Prophets