Mat Eiland is an artist from New Jersey who seems to breathe, sleep and live music and art. He owns an art and music studio. It’s quite impressive. There are classes for adults and kids, art studios and much more. I was impressed so you might want to check that out if you are in the area. Eiland also makes music. Be is his fourth album.
The album is a complete DIY effort. He states, “this particular album was my attempt to make anti-love songs, but I believed I failed and ended up making an album about self-love, self- respect, and a celebration of the constantly ever changing moment.” He also describes the music as a gentle roller coaster. I agree with the gentle roller coaster reference. Some of the songs such as the “the island” felt like a song you would play for a group of kids. It’s playful and the vocals are well delivered in a way where I kept imagining him playing for a classroom. The end of the song gets a tad experimental but just a little dissonance not like Oneohtrix Point Never levels of experimental.
“The Day I lost My Voice” felt a little more like a conventional rock song. It’s a solid song with a catchy vocal melody and pretty good guitar solo. “Keep Your Ring’ showcases some palatable harmonies. I especially liked the chorus.
“Valentine “ is one of the more catchy and single worthy songs in the batch. “burning bed” was a highlight. The song is fun and catchy as there are some well executed tempo changes. This was another song that had a playful feel to it. The title track “Be” is mellow, melancholy and slowly builds into something more. The closer “Rain” was a warm, nostalgic way to close the album.
As an engineer myself I think I am more prone to picking up on the difference between a home recording and a professional studio recording. This is another case where I think handing off the mixes to a professional mastering engineer could have helped with a number of things like giving the snare more snap and controlling the dynamics of the vocals with proper levels of compression. I do think these were good home recordings but I’ve been doing this for a long enough time where I can hear places where an engineer can give it that extra ten to fifteen percent.
As far as the songwriting goes I thought the song were consistently good and flowed really well together. The lyrics and vocal delivery felt honest and heartfelt. This is a solid album that is strong in a number of areas. Recommended.
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