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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laidback, nice - I like it.
This is a laidback, mostly acoustic, album with nice vocals that exceeded my expectations.

First some background to these expectations. Forty years ago in the late summer of 1970 Matthews Southern Comfort had their only hit with `Woodstock' - it was number one, Top of the Pops! Like many I loved the song and it caused me to follow Iain Matthews' music since. He...
Published on 28 Jan 2011 by Hipper

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind Of New - Matthews Southern Comfort
Matthews Southern Comfort was Iain Matthew's first group before he went solo and they produced some soothing folk sounds which Iain did most of the composing. Southern Comfort was actually his backing band who were very good in their own right. I have their album. This Matthews Southern Comfort is a completely different set-up, completely different musicians. First of all...
Published on 23 Dec 2010 by P. R. Phillips


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind Of New - Matthews Southern Comfort, 23 Dec 2010
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P. R. Phillips (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kind of New (Audio CD)
Matthews Southern Comfort was Iain Matthew's first group before he went solo and they produced some soothing folk sounds which Iain did most of the composing. Southern Comfort was actually his backing band who were very good in their own right. I have their album. This Matthews Southern Comfort is a completely different set-up, completely different musicians. First of all Iain hardly does any of the composing and secondly the sound is very modern, noisy and the female lead vocalist very loud. If you like the old Matthew Southern Comfort I wouldn't buy this album. It's a far cry from his solo albums, Matthews Southern Comfort,Plainsong, Hamilton Pool and "It's All In A Song" albums.Maybe you'll like it, so give it a try like I did.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laidback, nice - I like it., 28 Jan 2011
This review is from: Kind of New (Audio CD)
This is a laidback, mostly acoustic, album with nice vocals that exceeded my expectations.

First some background to these expectations. Forty years ago in the late summer of 1970 Matthews Southern Comfort had their only hit with `Woodstock' - it was number one, Top of the Pops! Like many I loved the song and it caused me to follow Iain Matthews' music since. He is noted particularly for his voice and taste in other people's songs. Matthews Southern Comfort made two albums before Matthews left because of the excessive hype that went with being pop sensations. The band not only featured Matthews' beautiful English voice, but pedal steel guitar, Carl Barnwell's voice and songs, and three and four part harmonies.

This album has little in common with the original Matthews Southern Comfort. Only Matthews of the original band is here and his voice is not what it was. After over forty years in the business, mostly in the U.S., this is no surprise. His singing on some songs is still good but on others he uses a semi speaking style that followers of his more recent output will be familiar with, and which I don't really like (his harmony singing is excellent as always). There is no pedal steel (no electric guitar at all in fact, just electric bass and keyboards with acoustic guitar and drums), but there are some nice harmonies. There's also a female singer.

There are three tracks that listeners of the original MSC will recognise. Woodstock, a song Matthews has redone throughout his career, appears again here, and it is another worthy version. Blood Red Roses, an a cappella version originally, is here offered with a small amount of instrumentation - I didn't like it then and don't now! And Road to Ronderlin, my favorite track from MSC days. I've still no idea what the lyrics mean but that gives it an air of mystery which enhances the song. This new version is very nice. Five tracks are written and sung by Terri Binion. I'd never heard of her but she has made a couple of albums and has a very nice American voice, reminding me of Lorna Hunt in style. Her songs are not highly original but still very pleasant. The other songs are two Matthews revisits and three new ones.

I've listened to the album a few times now and I find I can still play it practically the whole way through without skipping songs. The only tracks I don't like are, as I said, Blood Red Roses, and Money, and I'm finding Kingfish beginning to grate. That's OK as these are the last three songs! I should point out that there are very few albums I can play the whole way through and only one from Matthews (Walking a Changing Line). His recent output has offered very little to me, two or three (very good) songs at most, so this album rates pretty well in comparison.

So, to my ears, not a Matthews Southern Comfort album, not even an Iain Matthews one, but a Matthews/Binion collaboration with a top set of musicians.

Whatever it is, I like it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not do what it says on the can - caveat emptor., 21 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Kind of New (Audio CD)
I'm disappointed with this as it's not actually MSC at all but Iain Matthews with a bunch of others who have no connection to MSC whatsoever. I thought there would be at least one or two of the old band with him. It's very well produced but dull, and the reworking of 'Woodstock' does absolutely nothing for me. The liner notes tell us that it was recorded piecemeal from April 2005 to September 2009 and perhaps this accounts for its lack of feel - a good example of technology not always serving us well. One Terri Binion is now included in the band and given 5 songs on this album. That's about 5 too many for me. Actually I feel somewhat cheated by this. Call in the Trades' Descriptions people immediately.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind of new, 15 Aug 2012
This review is from: Kind of New (Audio CD)
I totally disagree with these negative reviews. I think this is one of Matthew's masterpieces.
The songs are great. The playing is skillful and heartfelt and the vocals are sublime. Of course there's no pedal steel guitar. This is Matthew's contemporary visualisation of a band HE created 40 odd years ago.
Slamming an album because it's not exactly what you expect, is quite a shallow view and disrespectful to a great artist.
Do yoursef a favor and listen to this record with an open mind. The man has done it again.
Ten out of ten.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2010):, 3 Jan 2011
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kind of New (Audio CD)
Matthews Southern Comfort - Kind Of New (Brilliant! / Genepool)
"Kind Of New" is the first new album from Matthews Southern Comfort for 40 years, and whad'ya know? It's pretty good.

A quick look at the track list and there's one song that seems to jump out. Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" enjoys an iconic status in the Matthews Southern Comfort back catalogue. Their 1970 adaptation (from the "Later That Same Year" album) rivaled Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's version, and has become an obligatory addition to British folk rock compilations, film soundtracks and their like ever since. It couldn't have been an easy decision to re-record it for "Kind Of New", but they've had the sense to radically alter both the pace and the phrasing and it's more than likely you wont recognize it until you're well into the first verse.

It's a definite highlight, and it's not on its own. "Letting The Mad Dogs Lie" opens up like a bloom on a summer's morning, and features some exquisite slide guitar and keyboard interplay. "Road To Ronderlin" is properly grown up folk / country rock, with fine musicianship at it's core. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway; Ian Matthews is in fine voice throughout. 7/10.
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