Syd Matters [Barnes & Noble Exclusive]

Syd Matters [Barnes & Noble Exclusive]

by Syd Matters
     
 
This collection, which pairs the first two European albums from one-man dream-pop factory Jonathan Morali, mixes sonic lightness and emotional heft to a degree that's reminiscent of both old-school singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and bedroom auteurs such as F. M. Cornog (a.k.a. East River Pipe).

Overview

This collection, which pairs the first two European albums from one-man dream-pop factory Jonathan Morali, mixes sonic lightness and emotional heft to a degree that's reminiscent of both old-school singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and bedroom auteurs such as F. M. Cornog (a.k.a. East River Pipe). Morali operates in a sonic landscape that's punctuated with many an example of the sounds mentioned in the title of A Whisper and a Sigh, a home-recorded disc that introduced Morali to the world in 2003. It's an introspective journey, one marked by oblique mythological references (best showcased on the azure-hued "Morpheus") and yearning romanticism (the bedrock of the swooning "Black and White Eyes"). The sonic palette is largely made up of simply strummed guitars and gentle keyboards, but despite the bed-sit trappings, Morali never sounds sleepy. Someday We Will Foresee Obstacles finds him fleshing out his notions with arrangements that are a bit more ornate. The results can be whimsical (as on the loping "Someday Sometimes") or downright eerie (like "Flow Backwards," which has a strain of Kid A–styled weirdness coursing through its bloodstream). The additional sonics don't, however, detract from the intimacy of Morali's writing -- largely because you never get the notion that he's bulking up the sound just for the sake of doing so. Morali's world is an intriguing one -- not always pretty, but so fascinating that it's hard to leave.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
After a string of European releases and some advance buzz garnered by the use of one of Syd Matters' songs on The O.C., this self-titled disc is the U.S. debut by French singer/songwriter Syd Matters. That TV showcase is something of an outlier, however, with its double-tracked harmonies, lazy shuffle beat, Lindsey Buckingham-style acoustic guitar hook, and perfectly deployed strings. Opening track "To All of You" is a lovely slice of retro California rock that would sound perfectly right on the radio next to singles by James Blunt and Daniel Powter. The rest of Syd Matters is both less commercially minded and less immediately appealing, but closer listening reveals greater depth. Beth Orton's blend of acoustic folk melodies and chilly electronics is the most obvious touchstone, although Matters' heart is clearly in the first half of the folktronica portmanteau: fans of Elliott Smith, José González, and other heirs to Nick Drake's throne will find much to their liking in heartfelt songs like "Icare." Although Matters' hushed and lightly accented voice and delicate acoustic guitar work are at the center of the entire album, his clever use of time signature, tempo, and arrangement shifts that function as brief codas to the songs themselves and saves the album from the repetitive, samey quality that mars many similar records.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/31/2006
Label:
Barnes Noble Consign
UPC:
0638812729729
catalogNumber:
27297

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