Matt Lee is a singer/songwriter from Nottingham, UK who only recently starting performing songs from his debut album Beautiful Thing. The album is a collection of straightforward pop songs that sound familiar but also sound varied enough so it is not derivative of one particular source. Lee explains that the songs are about ubiquitous human emotions such as “love, longing, separation, rejection, confusion, frustration as well as hope” but as you listen you will notice that most of the negative emotions are conveyed lyrically. The music and tone of the album veer towards unpretentious, carefree sounds that are bound to put you in a good mood. Don’t ask me why but I kept thinking about this music playing outside of a popular coffee shop somewhere in France.
The album starts with the acoustic-based song called “Ain’t No Time,” which is a quaint pop song that is simple but incredibly catchy as he sings the title of the song during the chorus. “San Jose” takes things up a couple of notches.The lead acoustic guitar parts sound great against the upward strummed chords during the verse and the additional vocal harmonies including a female accompaniment that are added during the chorus. They combine effectively with Lee’s voice as well. I couldn't stop picturing the two musicians who kept popping up in the movie “There’s Something about Mary” when listening to the title track “Beautiful Thing.” Everything about the song is soft, from the way he strums the chords to the way the drums are hit.
“Chasing Rainbows” is another decent song that begins to spread it wings as he implements spacey, delayed guitars into the mix. The second half of the album deals with separation as a hot topic on songs like “Apart,” “Last Time I Saw You” and “Baby Don’t Go.”
Lee has a propensity to write about emotions that lead to sadness but his music provides enough solace that it achieves a good balance. Overall, Beautiful Thing contains some solid pop songs that don't reinvent the wheel but are enjoyable. Check out his new single below.
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