Review of Scott Matthews album 'Elsewhere'
This offering is the second album from Wolverhampton troubadour Scott Matthews and follows on from 'Passing Stranger' which won him an Ivor Novello best song award for 'Elusive'.
For the tricky second album, Matthews has recruited Scott and Gavin Monaghan (Mercury Rev, The Smiths, Joe Strummer) to produce and also enticed none other than Robert Plant to provide vocals on one track.
The album opener 'Underlying Lies' is a large sounding track with a full string section and the laid back feel of 'Suddenly You Figure Out' with the subtle brushes, slide guitar and horns sort of sum up the album. It is apparent from early on that 'Elsewhere' is more subtle and down tempo CD when compared to 'Elusive'.
The tempo steps up slightly on 'Fractured' with the sound of a distorted electric guitar creeping in. This is then followed by '12 Harps' which features Matthews and Robert Plant sharing vocal duties. The guitar picking and harmonics blend well with both Matthews's vocals and the slightly understated vocals from Plant, definitely one of the picks from the album.
'Into The Firing Line' is the second upbeat track with a driving rhythm on the album. Title track 'Elsewhere' employs the use of some spooky sounding keys and finger picked acoustic which gives the song a Nick Drake-esque feel, Matthews vocals add to the atmosphere and the delicate lyrics add to the quality of this song. The album closes with 'Nothing's Quite Right Here' which again is a mellow acoustic track that justifiably summarises the long player.
'Elsewhere' is a more serene and tranquil album when compared to Mathew's previous contribution with graceful song writing and subtle musicianship, an album that grows on you with each listen.
Highlights: 12 Harps, Into The Firing Line, Elsewhere