Saturday, November 20, 2004
With Living Things, Matthew Sweet abandons his foray into harsh electric sound in favour of the acoustic guitar. He cleans up the rough edges found on Girlfriend and 100% Fun yet sticks to his characteristically simple lyrics and tight harmonies. Dandelion drops the reliance on major-to-minor chord progressions, instead of centering on a single repeating bassline allowing the vocal melody to organically take shape. Cats vs Dogs is like a lost Ringo tune, while You’re Not Sorry is an instant classic, one of Sweet’s trademark ballads. Sweet doesn’t change his songwriting style for Living Things. This is an album that isn’t very catchy, but makes up for that by being tighter, more refined and mature.
I Saw Red
Alter Bridge — One Day Remains (Wind-Up)
first single Open Your Eyes, One Day Remains offers
evidence that Alter Bridge is a more expressive unit without the
oppressive presence of lead singer Scott Stapp. Other songs are
characterised by Tremonti’s delicate guitar technique, which goes
beyond sledgehammer attacks into surprisingly melodic territory.
Ian Brown — Solarized (Polydor)
the days with Stone Roses, Ian Brown has sustained a successful and
highly influential career. His fourth solo effort, Solarized
serves up another dose of Brown’s trip-hop rock, with plenty of
eastern, reggae and hip-hop influences thrown in for good measure.
Opener Longsight M13 builds on the white funk of the Golden
Greats era, while Time Is My Everything pulls in the sound of
Tijuana brass. The Mexican trumpet-fanfare that heralds the arrival of Time
Is My Everything is a nice touch, particularly as it gives way to a
suitably trendy beat for Brown’s laidback vocal style. The album will
probably remain most notable for Keep What Ya Got, co-written
with another Manchester music legend Noel Gallagher.
This feature was published on November 6, 2004