Tuesday, 1 April 2008



Although most would dispute it, the singer songwriter buck appears high right now, a strong stock in a bear market on its way into recession. As a result this will always spew up acts on strong record labels that have seldom been heard of before but come with a sound very familiar. Matthew Ryan is one such act.

Despite this he does have a Wikipedia page but it (the information) fails to enthuse, especially held up against the music coming out of my stereo. This is a very adult sound in a medium I do not desire to entertain mature thoughts towards.

For this review I prepared more notes than the average release, a random and scatological set of musings on a record I really could not find or derive genuine scorn or joy from. I think the problem is the distinct lack of energy and danger I was able to summon from the record and its sound which as a result tapped into a lack of passion for me, which I do not doubt is in Matthew Ryan’s heart or sensibilities, more it may just be a criticism of my own ears. However there is a doubt that is cast by such things and quite possibly/probably I am not alone.

Ultimately this is the kind of record you are more likely to hear at the Latitude Festival as opposed to the All Tomorrows Parties festival and that is the rub, I would dare suggest it is not originating from the most flexible or free thinking of genres and subsequent audience that comes with, in other words not for an audience under the age of 35.

As the country tinged soft rock album reaches a close with its final track of eleven you suspect the best home for such a track (“Closing In”) would be underneath the closing credits of a movie such as Beautiful Girls (not necessarily a bad thing). The journey ride for me mainly consists of music aimed at (appreciated by) grown up Pearl Jam (and distinctly not Nirvana) fans who appreciate tracks that veer into U2 and Springsteen territory before heading home after a tough day on a plastic range.

Now I will never listen to this CD ever again.

Thesaurus moment: unseasonable

Matthew Ryan
One Little Indian

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