Musical Notes: Matthew Heller

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“Hey boys with your plastic love and your rubber bullets from your paper guns, aint nobody gonna make you feel famous tonight…”

Folksinger/songwriter Matthew Heller’s self-titled breakthrough album brings together a wide variety of sounds and genres including folk, indie, and grunge. If you’re listening to this album for the first time, be sure to check out my favorite tracks, “Moon Below,” “Girl Into A Rose,” and “Every Note.”

This album is particularly distinct in that Heller’s vocals take on an almost chameleon-like quality, altering to fit the particular needs of each individual track. Take a listen and you’ll see what I mean. Vocals and overall sound range in style from artists like Billy Corgan, Ani DiFranco, Billy Joel, and even a hint of Red Hot Chili Peppers (“If I Could”). The album also features a mix of guitar-centered and piano-centered tracks, making this a gripping album to listen to.

The album opens with “Moon Below,” one of my favorite tracks. Heller’s vocals on this track remind me of Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. The next track, “Snake Bite,” takes on a very different style, adopting a sound reminiscent of singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco, exemplifying Heller’s vocal prowess and adaptability. Be sure to pay attention to the lyrics on this album. “Another Nightmare” is a Billy Joel- like song that lends itself to demonstrating Heller’s skill as a storyteller, sung over a beautiful piano ballad. “Girl Into a Rose,” is another track with memorable lyrics, “I’ve been on this road for so long I can’t remember my name… and I’ve been playing you for so long I can’t remember the game…”

Overall this is a very solid first album, impressive in composition and performance. I’m excited to see what else Matthew Heller comes up with. Check out Matthew Heller’s bandcamp page for a FREE DOWNLOAD of this album! http://matthewheller.bandcamp.com/

Music reviews courtesy of Celia Hassan and That Groove Machine. www.thatgroovemachine.com

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