Matt Stevens sent me this album a while back and it has been lying around waiting to be reviewed for a few weeks now, as I just cannot get a handle on it, beyond it being an unassuming record that for me never makes it past background music. Perhaps I'm the wrong person to review this, as I like my music to have an edge to it, and I'm not sure where any market for this might lie to be honest.
You can envisage Matt, a big bear of man, hunched over his acoustic guitar and effects pedals, being a permanent support act to an unending parade of pastoral prog bands as most of the audience remain fixed in the bar, or you could see him playing quietly in the corner of an upmarket restaurant, while disinterested patrons chase down foie gras with an eminently quaffable Chablis.
I'm not saying this is a bad album, it's just that after a number of listens it fails to grab my attention for any length of time. It is obvious from the track by track description that Matt supplied with the album that this is very much a labour of love and I wouldn't for a second take any pleasure in belittling his efforts. The tracks are all recorded using an acoustic guitar and looping pedals, as you'll have seen KT Tunstall use, and minimal percussion. Like Ms Tunstall however I feel this would sound so much better within a full band line up, particularly a track like Burnt Out Car which you could imagine rocking out to great effect. For some reason I reckon it would sound like Radiohead at their most forceful. Going on with this theme if you shut your eyes and imagine what are at the moment fairly innocuous instrumentals being played by a full band replete with vocals, solo sections etc, Matt Stevens could well have an epic on his hands.
I don't get paid for this reviewing malarkey and usually only review things that I would or have bought for my own collection, which makes reviewing this doubly difficult. All I can say is Matt, if you read this, get a band together, pick up an electric guitar, rock out a bit, then I and I'm sure others too will take more of an interest.
If you're curious you can listen to the album on Matt Stevens' website.
2 out of 5
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