Matt Maher Saints and SinnersMatt Maher
Saints & Sinners
Essential Records
Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Singer-Songwriter/Pop

While Canada native Matt Maher has long been known for his songwriting, music listeners would be wise to take note of his latest project, Saints & Sinners, an album that reveals Maher is every bit a skilled musician and performer as he is a talented lyricist. A patchwork of quotes, stories and characters form the foundation for the songs found on Saints & Sinners, with Maher drawing inspiration from beloved hymns to Mother Teresa.

Maher joined forces with highly-revered songwriters, including Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), Bear and Bo Rinehart (NEEDTOBREATHE) and Thad Cockrell (Leagues), among others, making Saints & Sinners’ track listing one of the strongest of his career.

Opening pop anthem “Future Not My Own,” inspired by martyr Oscar Romero, beautifully articulates Maher’s desire for surrender to the Divine. “Deliverer” captures a conversion experience with powerful imagery and a driving bridge that is perhaps the album’s most poignant moment. Stand-out gospel-tinged “Sons and Daughters” honors Martin Luther King and boldly calls for racial reconciliation. Meanwhile, the Springsteen-evoking “Glory Bound” and barn-burner “Firelight” reveal that Maher is anything but a timid artist. In fact, a quick review of the lyrics discloses an artist unafraid to wrestle with doubt and mystery.

Saints & Sinners positions Maher as more than a songwriter content to sit in someone else’s shadow. He’s found his unique artistic voice, and this album proves he’s not afraid to use it.

Download Saints & Sinners on iTunes here.

This review was first published in Living Light News.