Matthew Curran - Simplify
Matthew Curran’s debut album 'Simplify' captures the essence of rock sound very well - flavours of Hendrix and the Allman Brothers mix with the more modern influences of Collective Soul, the Black Crows, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains. There are some unexpected detours into psychedelia-like noises but these always wind up back in the same place - rock sound. Straight up, no chaser.
Lyrically it's OK, nothing to shout about it keeps to the rock theme - the diction and pitch are good but still manage to have the right tones for rock. Am I saying rock a lot? Sorry, but that's what listening to this is - it's distilled everything that is 'rock' and compressed it neatly into an album. The soundscape is... well, rock. There's guitars and bass and drums and vocals, given a very, VERY nice twist by some stunning guitar work. Curran has been playing for years and years and his talent is well-known, and it shines through here. The riffs are spot on, and the solos, even minor ones, are expertly executed.
Another thing Curran has dead right is the production. This debut is self-produced, a word that invokes fear in many of us, especially when accompanied by 'debut', but the production is clean and deliberate. All the touches of harmonica ('The Vibe') or breaks in the sound ('Hiding') are exactly where they were supposed to be. Curran is also a multi-instrumentalist, further evidence of his talent for his craft.
I think that's the problem here. He's obviously an excellent musician and producer, but there's little creativity in the songwriting - it's just verse-chorus-verse-chorus-refrain throughout, for instance. He could do so much more, but as he's only eighteen there's a long way to go on that front. Get out of college rock and into proper songs - you could go far, Matthew Curran.
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