August 30, 2007

Record Review: Matt Nathanson

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Once known primarily as a guitar-wielding solo artist, Nathanson has essentially transformed into the front man of a four-man rock band. While Nathanson has often performed with a band in the years since 2003’s Beneath These Fireworks, his new album showcases his ability to create songs that truly highlight the entire ensemble.
This evolution of Nathanson’s sound is beginning to gain him attention by a much broader audience and the fuller sound of Some Mad Hope carries through each song, from start to finish. “The Beat of Our Noisy Hearts” is a catchy (but also well-written) song that forefronts Nathanson’s full-band sound. It’s hard to imagine the song played solo, just Nathanson and his guitar.
At the same time, though, Nathanson does not forget his roots — the album closes with “All We Are,” a gorgeous ballad that is reminiscent of his older songs. And, of course, Nathanson continues to write powerful lyrics with which the listener truly can relate.