Matt Wertz has been around for awhile creating some infectious pop rock music with positive messages about love and life. Why should this time be any different? Wertz continues down the same path, this time reaching a level of maturity that shows how his music has grown over the years. While many of the songs he has released prior to now have become sing-a-long staples for countless music fans, several songs on this album have the potential to be huge hits. The first two singles from the collection, "Feels So Right" and "Running Back To You," showcase Wertz's brand of accessible pop as good as any of his previous albums. "Everything Will Be Alright" has a bit of reggae flair and songs like "Family" and "Nobody's You" emphasize Matt's lyrics and hs music's sincerity. Matt Wertz may not be a huge superstar, but that doesn't mean that his music is any less great or important. On "Weights & Wings" Matt Wertz proves that his story and songs are the epitome of true music.
Lots of bands record Beatles cover albums. They are usually full of overindulgent versions of the most popular Beatles songs that end up sounding like they were butchered beyond recognition or just a karaoke session. For Soulive, making a Beatles cover album turned out to become one of the band's best recordings ever. They decided to cover recognizable Beatles songs like "Help!," "Come Together," and "Taxman," but with a twist: all songs are purely instrumental and the vocal elements had to be translated into their musical instrumentation. The Beatles' guitar/bass/drums/vocals may not seem like it would translate easily into Soulive's guitar/keys/drums style, but Soulive mastered the arrangements and the results are outstanding. The standout highlight of the album is "Eleanor Rigby" which has you singing along to the music, despite the vocals are left out. Some may think this kind of thing is elevator music, but it is way above that. It's artistic and impressive and only shows the incredibly elevated musicianship of the three members of Soulive. This album is amongst the top Beatles cover albums ever.
In between working with their own bands, the lead singers of Deer Tick, Dawes, and Delta Spirit got together and decided to form a band. What started as an impromptu performance at SXSW last year turned into a full blown mission to write and record music together. The result is one of the best indie-folk-Americana records released in the past few years. Taking influence from all their own bands, mixing their love for their collaborative styles, and throwing in a bit of CSN style harmonizing, the album showcases each member of the band as an incredibly talented musician and the three together as a masterful trio. The songs "Middle Brother" and "Me, Me, Me" are rocking Americana romps that combine hard plucked guitars with bar room lyrics and delivery. The sleeper highlight is the acoustic driven folk tune "Wilderness." Middle Brother may only be a side project, but it seems that the album has kept these guys on their toes and what they've learned from each other is sure to bleed into each of their bands' music.