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Matt The Electrician
Animal Boy
Review By Steven Stone
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  Some folks know how to make a record that sounds fabulous. Matt the Electrician is a member of that elite club. He's not as well known or well-paid as Daniel Lanois or T Bone Burnett, but Animal Boy should go a long way toward raising Matt's visibility and reputation as a technically innovative musician who also happens to create music that makes you smile.

Matt Sever clearly defines his musical territory with fresh sounds and innovative orchestrations. The opening trumpet and ukulele rhythm section on his cover of Journey's "Faithfully" sets the bar pretty high in terms of innovative and well-recorded sounds. Server's music combines simple lyrics with harmonically complicated music. Putting horn sections and complex percussion on top of a basic framework of acoustic guitar or ukulele creates a musical landscape where anything is possible. Sure, sometimes Matt's lyrics are banal, such as on "College," where he details why he hasn't, and probably won't, graduate from college any time soon.

Matt Sever lacks a great voice, but that doesn't prevent him from layering his vocals into entire choral groups. His recording hocus-pocus is evident throughout Animal Boy. Each song has something in its orchestration that can delight or amaze you. Even upon multiple listenings, I continue to hear new layers. "What was that? A toy piano?A jaw harp?A gym whistle?" Sometimes, all of the above…

I played the title cut, "Animal Boy," in at least thirty different rooms at the most recent CES audio show in Las Vegas. Every time I played it someone asked, "What was that?" and then scribbled down the info so they could buy their own copy.  These are people who hear recorded music all day long. They thought it was one of the better pop/folk/singer/songwriter tracks they had heard recently.

 

 

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