Matt Nathanson

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:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gary Wittner
    Gary Wittner

    Too Modern for Me. (Invisible Music Records) Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Willard Gayheart & Friends
    Willard Gayheart & Friends

    At Home in the Blue Ridge (Blue Hens Music). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Alex McArtor
    Alex McArtor

    Touch/Are You Alone (Bigmac Records). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Superstar

    Sex, drugs, adultery, murder and finally, redemption – it’s all intertwined in the tale of Trent Davis, the “star” of author Christopher Long‘s latest, Superstar.

  • Moloko Plus
    Moloko Plus

    Moloko Plus is a monthly experimental music event in Orlando, Florida.

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

From the Archives