It’s really nice to hear a style of music that harkens back to the days of deeply smooth hip-hop beats and meaningful, entertaining lyrics. Matthew Reid’s album entitled Matthew Reid’s Dysfunctional Adulation is an inspiring, sometimes depressing, thoroughly honest look into the life of a person that goes through the same emotions and problems that we all have at some point, and is able to turn those thoughts into prose.
While “Bed Room Thoughts and Lies” is a great starting track, as it captures the theme and sound of most of the album that follows it, the song that really caught my attention was “The Reasons Why.” The lyrics are far stronger here, and the ending phrase “what are you gonna do, do what Kurt Cobain did?” hit me in the gut like a sack of bricks. I realized then that Matthew Reid held no punches, and it opened my mind a bit more to the rest of the album.
“Empathy” uses a background track that sounds satisfyingly familiar, borrowing from the sound and theme present in a great deal of 90s soul tracks. The lyrics are catchy and meaningful, and this ended up being my favorite track on the album.
“When I’m Dead” builds on a theme presented earlier in the album, describing the different reasons people are pushed to the point of suicide. The lyrics are cleverly laid over a creatively constructed beat that touches all ranges of the music scale, and punctuated by sound effects that add punch to the song.
In contrast, “Amor” has a pop sound, and is far more upbeat than the other songs on the album. It is Reid’s answer to an interesting female vocal interlude included in the song preceding it.
“Vibes” makes good use of the haunting sounds of an organ, which translates into a more deep melody halfway through the first verse and gets increasingly creative as the song goes on. Each additional layer of sound makes the song more and more interesting. The use of “it’s a vibrant thing” harkened back to the types of songs that used to pump through my radio more than a decade ago.
“Your Happy, Right” is a slowed, down tuned version of Outkast’s “Prototype.” I thoroughly enjoyed the way he took the song and made it his own, and the rap sounded great layered over the beat in a lower tone.
“Summer Mood Part II” closes the album out with a song heavy in atmosphere and energy. Hidden at the end of this is an unexpected, science fiction inspired interlude that propels this album to a different height than it was before.
It’s obvious Matthew Reid had a lot to say in the 12 tracks presented here. Though some aspects of the lyrical themes and beats get a bit repetitive after a while, there are enough unique tracks here to make it well worth sitting down and listening to. I hope to see his next effort, particularly if he can expand on some of the more creative and experimental aspects of his songs.
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