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Scott Matthews - When the Night Delivers

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 25 / 8 / 2011

Scott Matthews - When the Night Delivers
Label: San Remo
Format: CD


Over played and self-indulgent third album from acclaimed Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter, Scott Matthews

Can you have too much of a good thing? There is no disputing on his third studio album that Scott Matthews can sing, play guitar and above all write intelligent, thoughtful music. Matthews has had Damon Albarn and Gary Lightbody singing his praises, he’s supported Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and even had Plant guesting on his second album, ‘Elsewhere’ and he’s been described as a genius. So why does the majority of ‘What The Night Delivers…” leave me cold? Again there’s no denying that songs like ‘Obsession Never Sleeps’, the second track on this album, are well-crafted and have enough going on both lyrically and musically to hold your attention but where’s the passion? Maybe to some sounding like a cross between Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley is enough to forget any suspicions that here is a talented musician who is maybe trying a little too hard to produce something different, something real, but I can’t help but feel that if these songs were given less of an atmospheric production, if the vocals were reigned in just a little and if it wasn’t so obvious that those concerned were trying to make art rather than music that this album could have been so much better and certainly appealed to a much wider audience than it will. The songs are there, the musicians are faultless, and Danny Thompson is playing double bass…’ nuff said!...but it’s all too nice, it’s all too perfect and we’ve heard it all before. If I want to hear Nick Drake I’ll listen to one of his albums, if I want to hear Jeff Buckley I’ll stick on ‘Grace’ and I’ll get more satisfaction and pleasure than I do listening to ‘What the Night Delivers…’. In spite of obvious efforts made to turn these songs into something special those involved have tried too hard and failed. I’d rather listen to stripped back versions of these songs which display a little soul and would bring these songs to life or just listen to Thompson’s bass especially on songs such as ‘So Long, My Moonlight’ which is the only redeeming thing on that song as it is produced here. There are moments of pure beauty scattered throughout the album, parts of ‘Head First Into Paradise’ for example, are genuinely breathtaking but you question if you really want to spend your time working through an album that has more uninspired passages than inspired ones for a few snatches of truly outstanding music. There’s a big difference between creating an atmosphere in a song which adds to and enhances the experience than producing what is really nothing more than an irritating sound which goes on for over one minute and does nothing for the song it precedes as on the opening song ‘Myself Again’ which is a perfect case for leaving a good song alone ; imagine this song without the vocal gymnastics and unnecessary musical flourishes, to go back to the beginning of this piece again…too much of a good thing doesn’t always work. Shorn of all the clever stuff this would have been an excellent album. the songs are there, maybe a change of producer next time?

Track Listing:-
1 Myself Again
2 Obsession Never Sleeps
3 Ballerina Lake
4 Bad Apple
5 So Long, My Moonlight
6 Head First Into Paradise
7 Walking Home In The Rain
8 Echoes Of The Lonely
9 The Man Who Had Everything
10 Piano Song

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New Skin (2021)
Seventh album from singer-songwriter Scott Matthews finds the exceptional vocalist successfully exploring electronica.

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