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Matt Stevens - Ghost CD (album) cover


Matt Stevens


Crossover Prog

3.86 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Review originally written at

Fresh, imaginative, dreamy. A great acoustic guitar oriented album.

Some words were spread regarding a talented musician named Matt Stevens. Now fortunately I could listen to his music and know by myself why people talk about him, and praise his music. He is a gifted man who has been working hard for the past years, creating original music inspired by his idols, and now, he is inspiring new musicians himself.

Stevens had previously released a couple of albums in 2008, and last year (2010) his new child saw the light of day. Entitled "Ghosts", it is downloadable from his website, and you pay what you wish. A huge facility for us, the listeners who want to know high quality stuff. So now I tell you, go to his website and download it. You will not regret it.

"Ghosts" consists on ten compositions that make a total time of 42 minutes. It kicks off with "Into the Sea", which shows the style of the music since the very first seconds. Acoustic guitar all the way, samples, some percussion and a charming atmosphere. "Big Sky" is one of the three songs that reach the five minutes length. The sound is pretty cool. This particular track makes me think of a curious mixture of some post-rock feelings, with a Riccardo Zappa style. I really love the mood created, and how you can listen to different guitars, one above other, but all with a clean and interesting sound.

"Eleven" is a shorter but interesting track. When I first read that he had some Radiohead hints, I thought it was a joke, but the guitar here made me think of some Radiohead tracks, and I don't know if he is aware of that and likes that band. Anyway, the sound is soft and calm, a couple of minutes to relax and think. "Draw" is a cool composition that starts with drums, and little by little it is creating a repetitive but addictive sound. It has different passages that at the same time create a different atmosphere. This is a very cool track that shows once again his skill and capacity as a composer.

"Burnt out Car" has some kind of bossa-nova feeling at first. It also reminded me of a young Canadian band called The Hylozoists. I like how that delicious sound is contrasted later with a cool change, and how it returns to its first form. Now, "Lake Man" is the longest composition and a wonderful one. He uses some electronic drums that are combined with his delicate guitar playing, the rhythm is semi-slow and makes me think of a song for a documentary. I believe it could work for something like that. There is a sense of melancholy and even disillusion, however at minute five the song takes a new breath and rises from the ashes, like exacting revenge.

"Glide" is a gentle and charming composition. A short one, but a song that may make you feel tranquil, happy, relaxed - who knows, it is beautiful. "8.19" is a track that sums up Stevens' style. Here you can appreciate that slice of post-rock, accompanied by a charming and delicate sound. Of course, his acoustic guitar playing is wonderful, a first-level musician who has thankfully dedicated time to create excellent music. In this song we can also listen to some electronic sounds as background, I am not sure if it is a keyboard or an electric guitar, and though the song structure may be repetitive, I really like it. The last two minutes have additional drums.

The title track comes next. "Ghost" is a smooth song which has a sweet harmonica sound as background, accompanying of course the always predominant acoustic guitar. What I love is when we can listen to different guitars at the same time playing different things. I would love to see Matt Stevens on stage sometime. I assume he uses loops for live shows, or maybe he invites guest guitarists. I don't know. The last song is entitled "Moondial", once again a soft and delicate composition that can capture the attention of any listener. Here, the repetition is not boring, it is actually addictive. So sit down, rest and listen to this cool music, music for your senses. The last two minutes are more powerful and of course, beautiful.

I am happy with this album, Stevens is a new talented guy whose music must touch your ears, so please give it a spin. I highly recommend it! My final grade is four stars! Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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