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Matt Stevens

Crossover Prog

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Matt Stevens Ghost album cover
3.84 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Into the Sea (3:30)
2. Big Sky (5:39)
3. Eleven (2:35)
4. Draw (3:39)
5. Burnt Out Car (3:48)
6. Lake Man (6:17)
7. Glide (3:02)
8. 8.19 (5:28)
9. Ghost (4:33)
10. Moondial (4:09)

Total time 42:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Matt Stevens / all instruments

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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MATT STEVENS Ghost ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

MATT STEVENS Ghost reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally written at

Fresh, imaginative, dreamy. A great acoustic guitar oriented album.

Some words were spread regarding a talented musician named Matt Stevens. Now fortunately I could listen to his music and know by myself why people talk about him, and praise his music. He is a gifted man who has been working hard for the past years, creating original music inspired by his idols, and now, he is inspiring new musicians himself.

Stevens had previously released a couple of albums in 2008, and last year (2010) his new child saw the light of day. Entitled "Ghosts", it is downloadable from his website, and you pay what you wish. A huge facility for us, the listeners who want to know high quality stuff. So now I tell you, go to his website and download it. You will not regret it.

"Ghosts" consists on ten compositions that make a total time of 42 minutes. It kicks off with "Into the Sea", which shows the style of the music since the very first seconds. Acoustic guitar all the way, samples, some percussion and a charming atmosphere. "Big Sky" is one of the three songs that reach the five minutes length. The sound is pretty cool. This particular track makes me think of a curious mixture of some post-rock feelings, with a Riccardo Zappa style. I really love the mood created, and how you can listen to different guitars, one above other, but all with a clean and interesting sound.

"Eleven" is a shorter but interesting track. When I first read that he had some Radiohead hints, I thought it was a joke, but the guitar here made me think of some Radiohead tracks, and I don't know if he is aware of that and likes that band. Anyway, the sound is soft and calm, a couple of minutes to relax and think. "Draw" is a cool composition that starts with drums, and little by little it is creating a repetitive but addictive sound. It has different passages that at the same time create a different atmosphere. This is a very cool track that shows once again his skill and capacity as a composer.

"Burnt out Car" has some kind of bossa-nova feeling at first. It also reminded me of a young Canadian band called The Hylozoists. I like how that delicious sound is contrasted later with a cool change, and how it returns to its first form. Now, "Lake Man" is the longest composition and a wonderful one. He uses some electronic drums that are combined with his delicate guitar playing, the rhythm is semi-slow and makes me think of a song for a documentary. I believe it could work for something like that. There is a sense of melancholy and even disillusion, however at minute five the song takes a new breath and rises from the ashes, like exacting revenge.

"Glide" is a gentle and charming composition. A short one, but a song that may make you feel tranquil, happy, relaxed - who knows, it is beautiful. "8.19" is a track that sums up Stevens' style. Here you can appreciate that slice of post-rock, accompanied by a charming and delicate sound. Of course, his acoustic guitar playing is wonderful, a first-level musician who has thankfully dedicated time to create excellent music. In this song we can also listen to some electronic sounds as background, I am not sure if it is a keyboard or an electric guitar, and though the song structure may be repetitive, I really like it. The last two minutes have additional drums.

The title track comes next. "Ghost" is a smooth song which has a sweet harmonica sound as background, accompanying of course the always predominant acoustic guitar. What I love is when we can listen to different guitars at the same time playing different things. I would love to see Matt Stevens on stage sometime. I assume he uses loops for live shows, or maybe he invites guest guitarists. I don't know. The last song is entitled "Moondial", once again a soft and delicate composition that can capture the attention of any listener. Here, the repetition is not boring, it is actually addictive. So sit down, rest and listen to this cool music, music for your senses. The last two minutes are more powerful and of course, beautiful.

I am happy with this album, Stevens is a new talented guy whose music must touch your ears, so please give it a spin. I highly recommend it! My final grade is four stars! Enjoy it!

Review by lazland
4 stars I am very glad that I was the PA member who "sponsored" Matt's inclusion on the site as a solo artist, and I am grateful to the Crossover team for their no nonsense agreement.

Matt Stevens is a very talented multi instrumentalist who has been making quite a few waves in the progressive rock community in recent times. This superb album, released last year, received a glowing review from Classic Rock Presents Prog, no less, and he is clearly a very busy live artist as well. If you can, get his Live In Blackpool album from his Bandcamp site.

Whilst, I suppose, the multi instrumentalist tag will raise the inevitable Mike Oldfield comparisons, do not be fooled, because, if anything, the closest I can describe this man's music as getting to is Anthony Phillips, formerly of Genesis fame. This is meant as a deep compliment, because this is primarily a guitar led album which reminds me in so many ways of some of Phillips' finest moments such as Field Day. Stevens manages that extremely difficult trick of making acoustic and non vocal music remain interesting for the duration, and no better example can be found than in the cracking pace of Big Sky, built around a simple acoustic chord, but with such a pace and variations found in the effects at the end to make you smile in wonder at it all.

The previous reviewer rightly, in my opinion, drew comparisons between some of the music on offer here and Radiohead, although, in my opinion, it moves way beyond that. Whilst, these days, Radiohead tend to make me feel rather despairing and miserable, this doesn't. The bright percussion and simple, but effective, bass riff accompanying the Greenwood- esque guitar on Eleven is perhaps the best example. It's cheerful and uplifting.

Just about my favourite track is Draw, featuring some extremely clever acoustic guitar work, bright and uplifting, set against a lovely jazzy drum and bass backdrop. Effects towards the end bring a very eclectic feel, and it is here, I think, that my only note of criticism comes to proceedings. I love Stevens' acoustic guitar work, but I do feel that future offerings might wish to explore tracks which feature, for example, samplings, bass, drums, and other instruments more to the fore, if only to "mix it up" a little more.

For example, I love the percussive work on the longest track on offer here, Lake Man. It is a marvellous piece of music, with some very nice effects which, in my opinion, should have been more to the fore alongside the stunningly simple, but supremely effective, percussion beat. That said, you do rather marvel at the guitar playing. Similarly, I love the glockenspiel on the mellow Glide.

The final two tracks, the title track itself, and Moondial, finish off proceedings in a very strong manner.

Ghost creates a mood and a soundscape that cries out at you that there might just be something, or somebody, watching you. Far more satisfying than any of the mad psychic frauds you see on telly in bringing you closer to the "other side".

Moondial has a cracking riff attached to it, and I wonder just how much more it would have achieved with a little more "electricity", for want of a better phrase.

I have no hesitation in awarding this album four stars. It is excellent, and it is, to me, refreshing to hear a new artist bringing this approach rather than some of the interminable doom laden metal that seems to be particularly in vogue at the moment.

Very highly recommended to all who appreciate Phillips, Hackett, and Fripp in his more ambient moments. I think that this man is capable of bringing a genuine masterpiece to us in the not too distant future, and I think this will be done by bringing a work based around the full range of his obvious musical talents, rather than a pure acoustic guitar led album, as pleasurable as that undoubtedly is.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK composer and multi-instrumentalist Matt STEVENS has been making quite a name for himself in the last few years. Utilizing the possibilities of the Internet in general and social networking in particular, he has built up a fan base and gained a good reputation. "Ghost" is his second production and was released in 2010.

Acoustic progressive rock isn't a type of music that surfaces too often, and for those who enjoy such productions Matt Stevens is an artist well worth checking out for past, present and future releases. He's creative and innovative, and utilizes his chosen tools in a good, effective and rather adventurous manner. And as such this one will be given a general recommendation to those who favor refined acoustic music, and prefer it served with a liberal dose of art rock flavoring.

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