Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson

Some Mad Hope

Vanguard

As he demonstrated on last year’s At The Point set, Matt Nathanson is a witty, charismatic and talented live act. Yet despite how memorable his gigs may be, Some Mad Hope proves undeniably that it’s in the studio where he is able to express himself most effectively.

Some Mad Hope is the San Francisco-based singer songwriter’s first studio release since the criminally ignored major label debut Beneath These Fireworks, and it somehow manages to surpass that brilliant record’s combination of irresistible melodies, classic pop-rock sensibilities and meaningful, personal lyrics.

Opener and first single “Car Crash” carries on where Beneath These Fireworks left off, with an explosive three minutes of pure pop-rock perfection, while the stripped down “Come On Get Higher” fizzes with emotional intensity, and the passionate escapism of “Heartbreak World” continues the anthemic onslaught. And that’s just the first three tracks.

Elsewhere, Nathanson’s songwriting genius is exemplified further on the rhythmic “Gone,” the epic “Beat of Our Noisy Hearts,” the whimsical “Still” and the brooding acoustic track “Bulletproof Weeks.” The Boston native’s love of ’80s pop-metal is hinted at with the presence of some serious gang vocals on the superb “Falling Apart,” while his account of the emotional ups and downs of relationships comes to an overwhelmingly positive conclusion on closing track “All We Are.”

Matt Nathanson’s humorous interludes and inspired cover songs are a trademark part of his live shows, but Some Mad Hope confirms he is at his best when he lets his music do the talking.

Matt Nathanson: www.mattnathanson.com

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