Matthew Curran – Simplify (CD)

“Simplify” is the titular track on Matthew Curran’s latest release, and it will immediately hit listeners with a strong guitar and driving beat that gradually opens up and provides listeners with a wide swath of different styles, sounds and approaches. At all points during this track, however, Curran’s vocals impress. This is because he takes on equal parts Kurt Cobain, Ben Folds, and Chris Cornell, crafting a unique style that will stick with listeners for a long time after the album finishes up. “Hypnotruth” has a trippy blend of alternative and psychedelic rock, tied together through the aforementioned allure of Curran’s vocals.

The instrumentation present on this track bears further coverage, though: whether it is the guitars, the on-point drums, or even a ropy bass line, the resulting interplay is something that bolsters and highlights all the best parts of Curran’s delivery. “The Vibe” is one of the strongest tracks on “Simplify”, adding a Santana-like guitar riff to a laid-back bit of alt-rock that recalls Cake or Fastball. Whether it is the hook-laden arrangements present during “The Vibe” or the snappy vocals present, listeners will be drawn in droves to the song. “Who You Are” contains a little bit more of grit than the other tracks on “Simplify”, whether it be the distorted guitars or more labyrinthine arrangements.

Despite the fact that it may not be as outwardly catchy as a “Simplify” or a “The Vibe”, I feel that this track is a must-listen for the fact that is breaks so cleanly with the rest of the tracks on the album. By including a “Who You Are”, Curran is showing all listeners that there is no musical style or tack that can be taken that trips him up. More than that, taking “Who You Are” alongside the other album tracks ensures that listeners will be surprised whenever it may be that Curran releases another album. The one thing that listeners will know about this later release, regardless of how in the dark they may be about the overall composition, is that Curran puts his heart and soul into every second that graces this silver disc. Check it out.

Top Tracks: The Vibe, Who You Are

Rating: 8.4/10

Matthew Curran – Simplify / 2009 Self / 8 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/matthewcurran

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