Review by Ray Grundy, Radio Metro, Manchester, England 'So Strong' is Paul's 4th album, following the success of previous releases, 'Paul Mateki,' 'Temperatures Rising' and 'Across The Miles.' 10 out of the 12 tracks on here are either written or co-written by Paul. First of the exceptions is the excellent 'Sedona,' written by U.K singer/songwriter Martin Moss. The track is very much in the style of Robert Earl Keen and also see's Martin.........who sounds incredibly like the aforementioned R. E. K.............providing duet vocals. The other guest songwriter on here is Brendan Patchell, who provides the lively 'Don't Be A Fool' a rockin' track that is sure to be popular with the line dancers. The album is dedicated to Helen, the love in Paul's life, and it shows in songs like the mid paced title cut 'So Strong,' 'Write It In Your Heart' a slow ballad co-written with Rhonnie Scheurman that professes everlating love, the country/rocker, 'Watch How I'm Listening' also a Rhonnie Scheurman co-write and 'Walking In Her Light' a song that Paul say's is his favourite track on the album. Paul also sings about an ex wife and a marriage that didn't work out, in 'Dead Horses,' a co-write with Darryl Harrelson, that is sure to get the line-dancers on the floor. Other tracks on the album include the honky tonking, 'Something This Guy Won't Do,' written with friend Rhonnie Scheuerman, and 'Nothing Looks The Same' a very catchy song that has Paul looking back over his years growing up. 'Only Time Will Tell' is a song written about a band he met and toured with in Austria. 'Red Side Of Town' tells of the seedier side of Holland and 'Harvest Time In Heaven' is a very catchy tune with one of those repetative chorus' that stick in your head. There isn't one bad track on this super fine album from Paul Mateki, a man who has a voice I can only describe as being somewhere between Randy Van Warmer and Cliff Richard. He also demonstrates that he is a very fine songwriter too, on an album enhanced with some great picking from such great Texas musicians as Milo Deering, Rocky Gribble and Mike McClain. Before this review, I had only heard of Paul Mateki through a release of one of his earlier tracks on a compilation, but after listening to this album, I will certainly look forward to hearing a lot more from this talented ex Brit who has made Texas his home for the last 35 years.
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