Monday, February 22, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: MATT ANDERSEN - HONEST MAN
His last disc, Weightless, earned him a Juno nomination for Roots and Traditional album of the year, but this one has Andersen edging closer to the soul side. Expanding his musical horizons, Andersen left the Maritimes for NYC, making the album there with the production of Commissioner Gordon, best known for working with Lauryn Hill, Santana, Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse. That meant working with some serious beat-makers, reggae players and R'n'B talent.
Sometimes surrounded by too much talent, those authors and ideas take over. But Andersen not only keeps this his own album, he puts his own stamp on a new groove, a roots-soul that is all about his big voice and powerful attitude. All The Way, written with Gordie Sampson, has seductive reggae groove, with Andersen controlling it all the way with his pipes threatening to burst at any moment. Last Surrender has Otis Redding horns, another showcase for the singer, plus a great Stax feel throughout.
Let's Get Back is a another standout, written pre-election as a plea of sorts to bring back some Canadian values from times past. On the softer side, there are a couple of co-writes with Andersen's current touring partner, Donovan Woods, where the two of them get the folkie side out. It's the most diverse album of Andersen's career to date, adventurous yet controlled, and an impressive advancement.