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coverpic flag US - New York / flag Australia - Full Moon 157 - 07/07/09

Scott Matthew
There Is An Ocean That Divides And With My Longing I Can Charge It With A Voltage Thats So Violent To Cross It Could Mean Death

It takes a lot of ambition and confidence to go for a title as long as Matthew's second album. Well, its content is not short of the same ambition. For good and for bad, really.

There are good news and there are bad news. I'll give you the good ones first. Putting on this record demands a lot from the listener. You're diving into an ocean that is controlled by Matthew and his crew. I like that kind of ambition and fearlessness. There are few compromises, and in no way are they trying to please anyone for the sake of being your new best friend. Either you're in or you're out. He's not afraid of inviting the odd oboe or setting the cellist free, which calls for both beauty and moods you wouldn't want to catch in a hung over state of fear. Some of his phrasing reminds me of Elvis Costello and that is a very good thing on my best days.

The bad news? Well, take some of the elements above and turn them around. Matthew's voice sometimes reminds me of my first aural encounter with Antony Hogarthy. Either you're in or you're out. I was out. Same thing here - the sheer drama puts me off. But Antony let me back in, and it might happen with Scott Matthew as well. The same drama that has put me off David Bowie is evident here. Although not the same drama that created an intense hatred in my body for Queen over the years. (Oh God, how much I have learned to hate).

If we look at the bright side of things, let me tell you that if you learned to love Antony And The Johnsons, you'll have something to get started on here. It's just not my cup of tea. And tea is being served - Matthew is truly an Aussie, but the sound of England is here. That added, another obstacle for the hard hearted.

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