Thursday, January 17, 2013
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: MATTY POWELL - KISS THE CITY
It's some sort of Canadian genre I think. Similar gentlemen from the U.K., say David Gray or James Blunt, also have sincere and rich voices, but are way, way too serious and self-referential. Sappy, even. Powell, even at his most mellow, as in the song This Cigarette, a heartbreak number, just tells it like it is with a good image, thinking of her while having a smoke, lingering thoughts making taking a drag, a drag. And he's not about to ring tears out of you; he lets that drop quickly, moving into the album's biggest rocker, Insecurities, with its electric riffs and advise to "turn the lights down low 'til we lose our..." (see title). Anyway, we do this whole guy-with-guitar and cool voice so much better, because, I guess, guys like Powell are a lot more real. Plus, this is the basic bonfire style of strumming and singing that's been passed on from lumber camps to summer camps to Gord Lightfoot to Blue Rodeo.
Mostly I like how laid-back and warm Powell makes his songs sound. Even when you find out that the song Freja is named after his daughter, and is about protecting and loving her, there's no lingering sentimentality, just a good feeling you take into the next song. And anyone who can write a song called Toronto and make it sound dramatic and compelling, well, the guy's got some talent.