Andreas Mattsson

Andreas Mattsson

Andreas Mattsson

The Lawlessness of the Ruling Class


Beginning somewhat blandly with a five-minute track of ascending/descending analog synth notes/keys on “Four Majors,” Andreas Mattsson paints himself into a very Stereolab-esque electro corner. He quickly wrests his sound free with a 180 on the second track, “Down on the Corner,” by doing analog synth one older and opting for piano. Slowly building up a head of steam by adding subtle layers of instrumentation, Mattsson gives the track the right amount of heft for the inner turmoil in the lyrics. He builds on this theme for the rest of the album; the sublime “It’s Easier to Handle All Your Friends Than to Keep Just One Love Alive” swells incrementally in intensity as Mattsson recounts the open wound of a past romance. By keeping the instrumentation under control, focus isn’t shifted away from his songwriting. The same can be said of “Where the Wave Breaks,” a piano ballad with an impeccable vocal melody that deserves the recent accolades wasted on James Blunt.

It’s tempting to call Lawlessness an orchestral pop album because from track to track Mattsson uses all manner of instruments (strings, vibraphone, glockenspiel, piano, guitar, drums, etc.) but he always retains an air of simplicity. The only true chaos in his songs come from the insecurity and defeated thoughts of his songs’ protagonists. While always ornate, the music is sophisticated and reverent enough to create even more sympathy for the down-and-outs than aggressive pity-mongering does in most harder-edged music genres. It would be more accurate to call Andreas Mattsson a ’70s Elton John for the 21st Century. It’s about time we had one of those.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives