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Matt Stevens - Lucid CD (album) cover


Matt Stevens


Crossover Prog

3.54 | 11 ratings

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4 stars UK artist Matt STEVENS launched his solo career back in 2008 with the album "Echo", and since then his DIY approach to establishing a career have seen him become quite the popular guy in progressive rock circles, even more so when he formed the band The Fierce & the Dead in 2010. His career in music is admirable, and he's also known as a genuinely nice guy to boot. "Lucid" is his fourth solo production, and was released in 2014 through UK label Esoteric Recordings.

While many of Stevens earlier solo albums have focuses solely or partially on his one man band style of acoustic based music enriched with samples and loops, this CD comes across as a firm step away from this past. The occasional acoustic numbers are still present, but by and large "Lucid" comes across as a production that merits a description as post-something I guess.

Wandering acoustic guitars with plucked light toned melody based guitar overlay are placed side by side with beefy, rich, distorted and dark guitar escapades with elegant, almost Frippian style hovering guitar solo details, more feisty, staccato riffs that may or may not point back to punk or early post punk have their place here too, gentle cosmic effects appear here and there, as do drones, nervous light toned guitar details of the kind that is a just about ever present feature in any post rock band you could name and even what sounds like a playful, Flamenco inspired theme or two. Ample variety in other words, and always with an emphasis on maintaining a good flow with logical but often unexpected twists, turns and developments.

Just about all the compositions are kept short and sweet, so that the ideas explored aren't exploited to the point of being tiresome or coming across as repetitive in a negative sense, and on the sole exception as far as length goes, the almost 12 minutes long The Bridge, Stevens transports us through a number of radically different sounding landscapes that ensures that the listener is able to maintain interest throughout.

Still, the most impressive piece of music for me is the title track Lucid. With a booming bass and solid rhythms creating a strong, hypnotic groove for Stevens adventurous guitar exploits, broken up by some unexpectedly effective intermissions, this is a highly compelling creation, perhaps not the most advanced nor the most adventurous, but a surefire choice for me if I would like to introduce a newcomer to the musical universe crafted by Matt.

If you enjoy instrumental progressive rock made with an adventurous spirit, Matt Steven's forth solo album "Lucid" merits a check, especially if you are the type of person that enjoys listening to a musician that explores a musical universe a bit outside of the most commonly visited grounds. A certain taste for music of the post-something variety may come in handy as well.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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