Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Ticks all sorts of boxes...
on 16 November 2007
There are many key ingredients to having a successful debut album, and on Matinee Jack Penate seems to have included all the best ones.
Through his distinctive voice, with it's regular forays into the falcetto and London twang, and the fast-paced jangly guitars, Penate definitely creates his own sound and makes his songs instantly recognisable. Whilst some might prefer lyrics to be more abstract, Jack's words are more than a little Dylan-esque in their starkness and clarity, if not necessarily in their complexity, particularly when he is busy being observational.
And with a distinctive voice and good lyrics, what more do you need? Well of course, no debut album can truly be a success without great songs. And it is here that Jack Penate really excells. My favourites are the 4, 5, 6 sequence. Torn on the Platform, probably the stand out track and clear choice for first hit single, shows a love for home that anyone can identify with. Next comes Learning Lines, which I first heard when I saw him play in a pub on Pentonville Road two years ago. Learning Lines (particularly in the 'secret' version which comes after the end of the album) is a very distinctive song, especially when placed here amongst the jingle-jangle of most of the rest of the album, and the vocal is brilliant. Probably my favourite song is Run For Your Life which gives us, through an infectious beat and bouncy chorus, a little taste of Jack's views on the more violent aspects of human nature!
All in all, this is an excellent debut, and perhaps the final key ingredient - and one that ensures success - is that it is really enjoyable to listen to. The songs can bounce along in the background or be listened to up close. They are great lound and quiet, and they inevitably bring a smile to my face.
One thing that becomes fairly clear as you listen to this is that Jack Penate has a very bright future ahead of him.