House To House
Powerful, Gentle, Expressive, Haunting and Warm All at The Same Time
I first ‘discovered’ Matt via his COAL MINING BLUES album in 2011; but whatever else happens in my life; Matt Andersen will always have a spot in my heart as his HONEST MAN album got me through some very long and lonely nights 6 years ago pre and post my Prostate Cancer diagnosis (thankfully now removed and I’m Cancer Free).
So perhaps I had already pre-judged this; apparantly his first ever solo-acoustic release …… which surprised me as I always associate him with being solo and acoustic; but with hindsight there has always been other musicians gently supporting him on his other albums.
Without delving too deep into his back catalogue; this album seems to be a rich mix of old and new songs with the beautiful addition of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready; which fits in quite perfectly as an album closer.
Andersen has always had an amazing voice; and on opening track The Other Side of Goodbye somehow manages to make a simple acoustic Folk song totally epic! I genuinely can’t think of another singer in my extensive collection who sounds even a tad like this heartbreaking missive.
If you’ve never heard Matt Andersen singing before I really don’t have the words to describe his voice; as there’s a slight burr to it, it’s powerful, gentle, expressive, haunting and warm all at the same time; and I can’t for one minute anyone else singing his love songs like See This Through, Burning Lights and/or House To House; as I doubt anyone else could ever find the nuances in his words the way he himself does.
Although recorded over a few days; every song here is a ‘single take’ with no jiggery-pokery added afterwards; which creates some truly stunning and atmospheric songs; none more so than Gospel flavoured Time For the Wicked to Rest or the starkly beautiful Peace of Mind.
Matt Andersen’s songs always have the capacity to not just describe the feelings we all have about our relationships; but get inside our heads and articulately put words to the feelings in a way we can’t; which is certainly where Let Me Hold You and All We Need come into play for me.
This is a complete album from start to finish; and should be listened to as such and in the order Andersen has released it; no chopping it up into bite size pieces please; but there are three very special songs here; well; for me there are; which makes choosing a single Favourite Song very difficult.
Peace Of Mind may just be the finest song Matt Andersen has ever released. The power he exudes by deliberately restraining his vocals on a tale that really resonated with me; especially the chorus ..
“Lay my burdens down to rest
Use my heart and not my head
Keep all the colours outside the lines
Drink the wine and smell the flowers.”
There’s more; but you should get the gist. |
Then there’s the rearranged version of one of my previously Favourite Songs; Coal Mining Blues, which now takes a very dark path indeed and is all the better for it.
But there’s also a surprise here that not just took my breath away; but brought a tear to my eye and that’s the wondrous duet with Terra Spencer who’s harmonies add extra depth to the charming and heartfelt Raise Up Your Glass, of which I can already quote you each and every line …. but won’t; which is why this is very much my Favourite Song on a rather special album.
Oh; one more thing …… with a majestic voice like Andersen’s it’s easy to miss what a wonderful and expressive guitarist he is too ….. listen carefully my friends and you will hear a Masterclass in acoustic guitar.
I will leave it to Matt Andersen,
“These songs that are as much about the space as they are about what happens between the spaces.
I’ve learned those moments need to be there in a show.
Big and strong isn’t big and strong if you don’t have a quiet moment to compare it to.
This album is pretty much all about those types of songs.”
Released March 4th 2022
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