Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reviews:: Matthew Barber Ghost Notes

Making a cup of coffee. Having a first kiss. Public speaking. Grilling a steak. Dressing up. Mixing a solid martini.

All of these things seems so simple, so easy to do but most people get it wrong. So much so that we excuse a bad cup of coffee, overcooked food or a badly mixed drink with a disappointed acceptance. Instead of pushing it back, we simply shrug as if we have no other choice. Well, the same can be said with a radio ready roots/acoustic track. We are bombarded daily with song writers writing about the love that never faded, and we listen begrudgingly to almost anyone, offering up nothing more than "it's ok."

But when a song crackles through your speakers with purity, simplicity and enough soul to make you believe, well, it's special. And when Matthew Barber strums his trusty acoustic on the intro of Easily Bruised, you are willing to sit down and let the man speak. The slight melding of letters when he sings "PEI" gives the track a nostalgic 70's radio feel, but everything comes across so smoothly, without a trace of pretension and transforms his new record - Ghost Notes - from just another average cup of coffee to one you savor.

The rest of the record follows suit. The songs don't use complex arrangements, often exposing Barber's guitar and vocals with only the support of a smattering of keys, minimal percussions or a well placed harmony. He can use run of the mill phrases like "I'm going settle my accounts with you" or "there's you and then there's me" as choruses and you never think anything of it, because everything just seems to fit.

He adds layers at just the right time, like the female harmonies and steel that grab your ear on You and Me, but isn't afraid to stand alone (like he does on the touching Modern Woman or the piano ballad Where The River Bends). Really, Barber doesn't do anything that should make him stand out from the masses, it's just how well he does the things other people take for granted that makes the record such a treasure.

web site :: Buy from Zunior

Posted at 10:51 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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