on 7 August 2006
It's like Matthew Herbert has finally found a way to put every musical style he has experience in his recent albums together into one big melting pot. There are funky/house beats, jazzy arrangements, big cinematic strings, experimental sounds, poppy vocals and innovative songwriting. The album starts nicely with "Something Isn't Right" with a straight dance beat with mixture of male and female vocals. His long time collaborator Dani Siciliano does the female vocals here again. Next three songs are high quality stuff also and "We're in Love" is a beautiful song with old orchestral jazz feeling and Hollywood-esque strings.
Unfortunately the rest of the album lacks the quality of the first half of the record. There are many great moments in the rest of the songs but it seems that Herbert is little stucked in his own cleverness. The album is a little too long and the compositions start to sound too similar to each other. There are so much hooks and different parts in the songs that it's hard to hang on 'till end of the album.
One problem is also that often "Scale" sounds maybe a bit too much like Roisin Murphy's solo album "Ruby Blue" which was produced by Herbert.
This is a brilliant, mellifluous and sonorous pop record. It is not usual to describe the music of Matthew Herbert as pop but, with scale, he has produced an album that is just about accessible to everybody. It is even more unusual to describe pop music as stunning (one would not describe chart music as such) but I am willing to do it here. Usually when a record has so much going on, the various instruments, voices, samples, bleeps, beats etc get lost in a sea of noise. Not here; the record is produced to perfection. Indeed, it is produced so well that one has to listen to it a number of times before one realises its true genius. Many a time have I listened to this record and discovered something new and interesting. However, all the interest never distracts you from the music's foundation: melodious tunes, great singing, solid beats. Impressive stuff indeed.
on 12 November 2006
this man just gets better and better, if there was any justice in the world, this would win all the awards, be played on the radio all the time and generally make everyone's lives a lot better. as it is, songs like movers and the shakers, harmonise and the supreme moving like a train can be a joyous secret waiting to be shared. if you like the other albums, you'll know what to expect - if not - join in!
on 1 December 2007
I've only just started discovering Herbert through love on Rosin Murphy's 'Ruby Blue' album, which is just genius.
This is an album that totally gets under your skin, after a couple of listens you are hooked in and find yourself humming the tunes throughout the day. Its got so many layers and repeated play (best on headphones) certainly rewards the listener.