Music Reviews

Matt Nathanson

Beneath These Fireworks


After releasing five independent albums, San Francisco’s Matt Nathanson has finally hit the big league by signing with Universal. He may be tipped to be the next John Mayer or Jack Johnson, but Nathanson’s major label debut is closer to the Goo Goo Dolls’ more commercial moments, and indicates that the transition from the indies has diluted his immense talent.

Long-time fans will be disappointed by the manner in which expensive producers and engineers have polished his sound, and even though there’s no denying the appeal of songs like the urgent “Suspended” and the emotive “I Saw,” the album sometimes feels a little too slick. Indeed, the singer-songwriter has surrounded himself with some the best session musicians out there on, yet note-perfect potential hit “Bare” seems somehow contrived. “Curve of the Earth” continues the Goo Goo Dolls similarities with its syncopated acoustic rhythms and commercially viable chorus, while “Bent” is typical Dawson’s Creek fare.

The delicate acoustic ballads “Angel” and “Little Victories” thankfully get back to Nathanson’s roots, and give the impression that a more accurate representation of his work can be found on stage rather than on vinyl.

Matt Nathanson:

Recently on Ink 19...

Drumming with Dead Can Dance

Drumming with Dead Can Dance

Print Reviews

Ink 19’s Roi J. Tamkin reviews Drumming With Dead Can Dance and Parallel Adventures, Peter Ulrich’s memoir of an artistic life fueled by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard’s remarkable friendship.

The House that Screamed

The House that Screamed

Screen Reviews

Macabre masterpiece The House that Screamed gets a stunning Blu-ray makeover, revealing a release good enough to convert non-believers. Phil Bailey reviews.

%d bloggers like this: