After almost a decade of making music, Toronto singer-songwriter Matthew Barber definitely has some things figured out. His fourth full-length album, True Believer, carries the sound of an artist who knows the kind of music he makes well and is comfortable doing it. Barber falls on the melodious folk-rock spectrum somewhere between Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (his song Insanity or Death sounds like it could be straight off the latter’s Graceland) but instead of settling down with his acoustic guitar, he uses the album’s 10 tracks to play into the boundaries of his genre. The result? Every song, from hopeful piano ballad to country-tinged highway rock, is refreshing without being out of place. True Believer is a gem of an album that will – well, to say the least – not leave you a skeptic.

Published in Volume 65, Number 9 of The Uniter (October 28, 2010)

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