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Reviews Written by
L. D. Harris "Harris Lee Harris" (West Midlands, England)
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What The Night Delivers...
What The Night Delivers...

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott delivers, 5 Sep 2011
What the Night Delivers is Scott Matthews' best album. Where his second album 'Elsewhere' was full of superb songs, the mood was perhaps a little harsh and fraught for some fans of his debut, 'Passing Stranger'. Any erstwhile worries about his direction are firmly dispensed with here. This record is simply magnificent, and delivers on his immense promise.

Actually his fourth album if you count last year's excellent 'Live in London', this new record captures a songwriter completely in his own space, utterly at ease with his own talent. Seemingly crafted as the result of hundreds of years roaming the earth with a guitar whilst considering layers of strings and other instrumentation, its list of great songs is long - Ballerina Lake, Head First into Paradise, Echoes of the Lonely, The Man Who Had Everything. All are as good as anything he has ever written, yet possibly better realised.

His early followers may still find it a little uncommercial, but they would be missing the point. Scott Matthews is peerless on the UK music scene and this is a classic by any measure.


Elsewhere
Elsewhere

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painted with life, 26 May 2009
This review is from: Elsewhere (Audio CD)
There's been a fair wait for this, Scott Matthews' second album, and it's set to surprise some fans of the first album as, although the songwriting is at least as good and at times more mature than on his debut 'Passing Stranger', the mood is markedly different. To a large extent the eclectic and occasionally hippy-ish vibe of the first album is gone, and instead we have more of an introspective tone, at times world-weary and bitter.
This is an old fashioned album, in the sense that it's a mood piece and is not trying to be a radio-friendly unit shifter. It's an album that richly rewards repeated listens, as the sophisticated and subtle melodies reveal themselves. Much of it is very beautiful indeed. The decent first single 'Fractured' is, for my money, the weakest track on the album, while the astonishing 'Up On the Hill' is perhaps the finest thing he's ever written.
Lyrically too, there has been a leap forward. Where his lyrics were once consistent with the odd great couplet, there are now several superb sets of song lyrics. Overall, he seems to have found his own groove, with those often name-checked influences merely a slight and subtle part of the tapestry, serving something altogether more unique.
Absolutely spellbinding live, too.


Passing Stranger
Passing Stranger
Price: 9.08

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Passing Stranger, 26 April 2006
This review is from: Passing Stranger (Audio CD)
In a few years time, when Scott Matthews is about to release his eagerly awaited third album, he will have stopped being shadowed by the inevitable Nick Drake / Jeff Buckley comparisons, and instead will have joined his influences on the 'my favourite artists' lists of music lovers everywhere. Because Matthews is too good a songwriter, too good a singer and too good a guitarist to be written off as a mere talented copyist. Here, on his first album, he shows that far from being retro, he is light years ahead of any other singer/songwriter in Britain today. Blunt, Tunstall, Gonzalez et al can go home now that the real thing has arrived and Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy and other US demigods can start keeping a seat warm for him at their table.

This is a stunningly accomplished debut, released on the new San Remo label and mastered by Ray Staff, who has worked with The Stones and Led Zepellin amongst others. Ten songs proper nestle amongst seven further short jams and interludes on a record so well mixed, arranged and sequenced that Arthur Lee might be able to pick up a trick or two from listening. Then there's the quality of the songs, as good as anything you will hear this year. Excellent upbeat openers 'Dream Song' and 'The Fool Fooling Himself' echo parts of Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'; the former's strings, tabla and infectious wordless chorus ensuring your attention wont waver a beat for the next 45 minutes. Thereafter the album's more pervasive mellowness dominates. 'Eyes Wider Than Before' is the sweetest of English folk and 'Sweet Scented Figure' crosses delta blues with Nick Drake.

The album peaks with its final perfect four-song run. 'City Headache' finds the narrator equating urban life to feverish illness, finishing in a French waltz. Debut single 'Elusive' is, quite simply, gorgeous and must make Matthew's girlfriend fall in love with him again every time she hears it, while 'Earth to Calm' finds his guitar picking transcending the mere mortal.

Bring on the next album, and bring it quick.


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