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Gratitude - Gratitude

  by Mark Rowland

published: 24 / 6 / 2005

Gratitude - Gratitude
Label: Atlantic Records
Format: CD


Slick, but slightly disappointing radio-friendly rock from Gratitude, the new band of Onelinedrawingand New end Original frontman Jonah Matranga

For over ten years, Jonah Matranga has been producing excellent modern pop music, be it with his old band Far, his solo, largely acoustic Onelinedrawing or the short-lived New End Original. Now Matranga has a new band, Gratitude, formed with ex-Crumb guitarist Mark Weinberg. This is the first band of Matranga’s since Far to be on a major label, and Gratitude’s slick, modern American rock sounds like it’s right at home. Unless you are a fan of commercial rock, ‘Gratitude’ is an initial disappointment. Essentially, Gratitude’s music is just like Jimmy Eat World’s, which does not make for an interesting listen. The band also cites U2, Radiohead and Led Zeppelin as influences, but it is difficult to hear any of these, other than a hint of U2. The album is also too slick, too perfect sounding: the charm of Matranga’s Onelinedrawing is the simplicity of the recordings. Give it a chance, however, and you’ll realise Gratitude’s strength is in its tunes. Matranga is a great singer, and his voice sounds as powerful and tuneful as ever. On most of the songs, he is also singing some beautiful pop melodies. ‘All in a Row’ would have a Beatles sound to it if it wasn’t swathed in ‘emo’ guitar. ‘Someone to Love’ and ‘The Greatest Wonder’ almost hit U2’s heights of epic-ness, and the last two tracks, ‘Dream Again’ and ‘Begin Again’ bring to mind the best songs of New End Original. There is still the odd track that treads old, tired ground, like ‘This is the Part’ and ‘Feel Alright’ which just aren’t strong enough to stand out through the slickness. If Gratitude released an unplugged version of this album, I’ll be one of the first to get a copy of it. As it is, this doesn’t really bring anything new to Matranga’s back catalogue.

Track Listing:-
1 Drive Away
2 Last
3 All In A Row
4 The Greatest Wonder
5 This Is The Part
6 Feel Alright
7 Sadie
8 Someone To Love
9 Another Division St.
10 If Ever
11 Dream, Again
12 Begin Again

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Interview with Jonah Mantranga (2005)
Gratitude - Interview with Jonah Mantranga
Gratitude is the new band of Jonah Mantranga, the former frontman with emo pioneers Far. At a gig in Newcastle he chats to Adrian Huggins about his new band and their eponymous debut album

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