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Matt Wertz

Under Summer Sun

I can’t say that this isn’t a smart release from Wertz, because when you’ve been independent for so long the logical thing to do is to gather up all of your best material, throw that together with a few new tracks and put it on a disc with a new name- that’s how a lot of musicians/bands have done it historically and it’s a smart method so it probably won’t ever change. That being said it does make the avid fans feel a little short-changed because they have most of the material already. To be fair though, Matt just released an album in 2007- so to get four new songs and some reworked tracks in 2008 is still pretty cool. “Under Summer Sun” has it’s strengths, most notably the old songs that Wertz chose to have on this album. Most of his best songs are on here, missing a couple but the critical tracks are here- “Marianne”, “Red Meets Blue”, “The Way I Feel”, “Everything’s Right”, and “Carolina.” Some of these have been redone for this album but they’re all good tracks and they’re all what got Wertz here. I have a feeling that if he had left out any of those five tracks Wertz’s fans would have been disappointed with this release, but he didn’t so it’s good. As for the new material- there are four new songs on here “Back in June”, “Summer Sun”, “Waiting”, and “Keep Faith.” All four of those songs are pretty good- the best song overall out of those four is “Keep Faith”, it has a chance to become one of the top 5 Wertz songs. As for the other three- I know that the album is named after “Summer Sun” and incorporated into the theme here is “Back in June”, but honestly I don’t hear either of these songs being Wertz’s best work. They’re actually both just kind of filler tracks at the end of the album. “Waiting” is the other new song on this album and although it’s not the best song on this album it’s the best written song on here. It showcases that vulnerability in Matt’s voice that a lot of people relate to and more than that the lyrics push that vulnerability even more. This isn’t a critical own for long-time fans, but the new tracks are probably worth individual purchases. As for new fans… if you’ve never spent a lot of time with Matt’s stuff, now is the time- he’ll become one of your favorite songwriters. He’s damn good.


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