Matt Westin – Legacy
Country music has seen a lot better days than it has lately. 2018 hasn’t been an easy year for the genre, as some of the elder statesmen and matriarchs of Nashville have started to lose touch with modern trends and interests. While many new artists are looking to carry on their Legacy by essentially continuing to use the formulas that once made them successful, others like Pittsburgh’s Matt Westin have decided to go in a different direction. In his full length, debut album Legacy, Westin not only lays out his blueprint for what country should sound like in 2018, he shakes the dust off of some of the most beloved accents of the style that some had long feared gone forever.
Matt Westin has all the makings of a pop star. He’s got the look, the lyrics and the sincerity to sell you any ballad he pens. He’s got the riffs, the percussion and the attitude to get your body moving with every hard rocking jam he can think of. But most importantly, he takes this thing that he does for a living seriously. For Westin, music isn’t just an occupation, it’s a way of life, which is far more than can be said of anyone presently dominating the country music charts today.
Legacy isn’t a self-righteous record lyrically or musically, but there it does contain a very powerful, inspiration message that is revisited multiple times in several songs. The narrative of that message is simple; life is unpredictable, and while the many strangers and friends we meet along the road contribute to who we are, at the end of the day we’ve got to be happy with the person that we see every time we look into a mirror, or it’s all for nothing. Westin isn’t just talking about self-confidence, he’s talking about positivity in general, which I don’t believe to be a theme that I have ever heard touched on in a country album before.
“The Devil’s Door” is a great example of Westin’s sanguine viewpoint superseding over any negativity someone could take away from a song lamenting the recklessness of youth. Instead of feeling like we’re looking back at a chapter of our lives that isn’t relevant any longer, it’s like we’re celebrating all of the joy and passion that those tender moments added to our lives today. Even when he’s taking a retrospective gaze, his vision isn’t clouded over by the guilt and regret that has come to be considered a hallmark of country singer/songwriters. Matt Westin, put simply, is one of a kind.
Something tells me that for as much fun as Legacy has crammed into its awesome ten tracks, it likely pales in comparison to what Matt Westin must be like live and in person. Whether selling out a giant stadium or playing an intimate gig in some hole-in-the-wall bar somewhere, I think he wouldn’t have a hard time lighting up any size of audience and infecting them with his buoyant, freewheeling passion for the music. If the momentum behind this record continues to grow, a national tour will likely be in the works quite soon, and we’ll have the opportunity to see just how talented this singer/songwriter is when he’s totally unrestricted and left to his own devices.