17 Dec 2018
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Matt Hay - Album Review: Something Blue

08 Mar 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

Matt Hay’s Something Blue is a simple album; a slow, relaxed pace, and soothing storytelling vocals. Opening track Last Jubilee is perhaps the most upbeat in tempo, with a melody reminiscent to that of John Mellencamp’s Jack & Diane with an extra open string twang to it from the combination of the guitar and mandolin.

The 12-track album is a true compilation. With no real consistent theme throughout the album and a variety of instrumental technical levels depending on the track, Something Blue is a true mix of old and new songs.

Whether the slower ballads of Somewhere I’ve Been Before, All I Need, and Too Much to Ask, or the medium paced Long, Long Day, or Love You So, there is a song that will likely appeal to many a mood. With drums, keyboard, percussion, bass, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals, there is always a risk of creating a cacophony of sound, but Matt Hay and his band The Makers have a minimalistic strategy using particular instruments to accentuate certain sections (such as the great bluesy solo in She’s Right).

There is little else to say, it is a simple layered composition often with members switching between instruments (there are some great vocal to harmonica transitions), and there are some on-point harmonies from Clint Meech and Phil Hope on the backing vocals. It gives the effect of a band that has played together for so long that they don’t have an actual back catalogue of songs, they just pick up their instruments, pick a key, and let loose.

Unpretentious and inoffensive, Something Blue is an ideal release for unwinding in the evening.


Review written by Alex Moulton

 

About Matt Hay

Matt Hay is a New Zealand based singer-songwriter whose quietly astute songs, and unique blend of country, blues and roots rock, often draw comparison to the likes of John Hiatt and JJ Cale.

Hay first appeared on the New Zealand blues and roots scene in the early '90s as harmonica player in blues wunderkinds Cool Disposition. He was also a member of roots rock outfit Surge, whose album Then Again received critical acclaim, and has featured as a side man for New Zealand blues legends Darren Watson, Dave Murphy and Marg Layton.

Hay began performing as a solo artist in 2006 and has three releases to his name - Inside Stories released in 2007, Where Do We Go From Here? released in 2012 and now his brand new album Something Blue released Oct 2017

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Matt Hay

Releases

Something Blue
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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