Portland (Oregon) alternative rock singer and songwriter Matt Lande released his latest album on the first of December, 2015. Bringing together alternative, hard, and contemporary rock, Lande’s contribution to the music world is for the most part sorrowful bordering at times on poignant.
The title track, which also serves as opener, has a strange feel to it thanks to a distortion effect that runs throughout. The sometimes harsh guitars come in sharp contrast to Lande’s melodic, ballad-worthy vocals. The melancholy in the pop rock/alternative rock melody reflects well the topic at hand, that of a man helping a woman reach the top and glow at the cost of his own success. The drum- and guitar-driven “Echo” would fit well in a list of well-known alternative rock tracks from the 1990s. There is again a certain melancholy bordering on sadness in the melody, but something about the way the melody is built gives it a slight tinge of hope. We get an idea of the passion Lande has tapped into to write this album. Things get darker to the point of haunting in “Together”, mostly due to the melody played by the guitar and Lande’s vocals.
There seems to be an explosion of light piercing through the gloom in the adult contemporary track “I Will Sing To You” where a piano, a more up-tempo beat, and lighter vocals convey a sense of optimism. The slow, organ-like drive introduction to “Nowhere That We Know” gives way to an energetic drum and guitar driven melody in this pop rock track, replete with a toe tapping beat and catchy melody. The melodic mid-tempo alternative rock ballad “Spin” makes good use of strings to add to the track’s atmosphere. Between them and the harmonies played by the various instruments in the track, “Spin” stands out from its predecessor even though it carries a lot of the same elements.
The guitar driven up-tempo “If I Could Love” brings back a hefty dose of melancholy but with an equally hefty does of light, making it an inspiring rather than depressing number. The slower and more sparsely built “On My Own” has the same duality about it, although the gauge is cranked up on melancholy. Perhaps the more delicate melody of the following track, “Robin”, is a reflection of the fragility of a human heart that has been through sad times. The violin- and piano-driven track is even more sparsely built than its predecessor, really underlining the vocals in a way that makes up for the shortness of the track.
There is potential for many of the tracks on this album to become radio-frequent, and even for some of them to become chart toppers on alternative rock and/or adult contemporary stations. Until then, tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information is available on his official website.
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