The brainchild of one individual, The Matthew Show is a fitting nomen for anything recorded by Matthew. Starting out with the country and hair-metal influenced track “Bring Me Safely Down”. Mixing a catchy chorus with a dual-part harmony and a violin flittering through the track, The Matthew show really starts the disc out on a high note. Moving into the building-up track “Old Enough”, The Matthew Show tumbles a bit, as all the build-up leads to a track that doesn’t necessarily achieve all it could – while the guitar solo is very atmospheric, it is not necessarily virtuosic. In a neutered Bloodhound Gang track, “Office Suite, Part I” , The Matthew Show speaks through the Spartanly-decorated track. “Office Suite, Part I” is one of the heights of the CD, perfectly catching the nature of cubicle life. Miffing slightly with the follow-up track, “Symbiotic Angel”, the saving grace is again the talented violin lines masterfully laid down by Reggie Rueffer. In another track that is a more sedate version of a hard rock track, a Phil Collins cover, “The Roof is Leaking”, Matthew morphs eir’s voice into a mixture of Marilyn Manson and Pink Floyd’s vocalist, and uses a jangly guitar to create a brooding atmosphere to the track.
Finally breaking the bass out with the funky opening to eir’s second part of the Office Suit, which starts to get stale in a major way – for the effect of the track, think about the numerous skits on pretty much any rap CD. When one has over 10 minutes of this Office Suite on a 53 minute CD, I feel almost as if I’m missing some facet of The Matthew Show that just wasn’t able to be fit on the disc because of these skits. While there are some tracks that miss in the middle of the disc, the extremities of “Texas” are where some of the most solid and compelling tracks are to be found. “Bring Me Safely Down” as well as the ultimate track, “Union Station” are the highlights of this album. While most acts that pretty much consist of a solo artist seem to be mere exercises in egotism, I just don’t get that sort of vibe from “Texas”. “Texas” is an album that has a strong recording (although there seems to be some extra echo at points), but is definitely a labor of love rather than the next big thing with vacuous yet filling music.
Top Tracks: Union Station, Bring Me Safely Down
The Matthew Show – Texas / 11 Tracks / 2003 Self-Released / http://www.thematthewshow.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 09 April 2004