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Matt Stevens - Lucid CD (album) cover


Matt Stevens


Crossover Prog

3.54 | 11 ratings

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3 stars Some years ago I was contacted by a true gifted UK guitarist, his name was Matt Stevens, a man that can make you fly and travel abroad with his acoustic guitar and with the electronic elements he uses. And though I enjoyed his music a lot, I must confess I did not listen to his albums very often, which is something I regret and that will not happen again. Having said this, I thank Matt for introducing me to his music and for the 2014 release entitled Lucid that I am reviewing right now.

Lucid is an 11-track album that has a 41-minute length. This time, Stevens has several guest musicians such as Pat Mastelotto from King Crimson, Jem Godfrey from Frost* or Stevens' bandmate Stuart Marshall from The Fierce and The Dead. Most of the songs are from 2 ' 4 minutes length, and one great epic that last over 11 minutes. Here, we will be delighted by a guitar-driven album, in which we will appreciate sounds from classical guitar, post-rock atmospheres, heavy moments and experimental passages. The album opens with 'Oxymoron' which is a heavy way to open the album, not like his previous solo works. This track has that nice combination of heavy rock and post rock. A great way to start Lucid!

'Flow' has the first let's-say-Crimsonesque moments, the guitar speaks from itself. It also has electronic drums and a repetitive but in moments hypnotizing mood. However, it is so short and then all of a sudden an explosion appears and we are already listening to 'Unsettled' in which that heavy post rock sound returns. I would not say it has a post-metal feeling, no, but it cannot stand in the lightest side of post-rock, mainly due to the distorted guitar and the bass. 'The Other Side' starts with acoustic guitar, I would say this is the typical Matt Stevens solo offering, I mean, with this track my mind totally goes back to Echo or Ghost, his first solo albums.

What I like of this album is that Stevens plays different styles from one song to another, so it is common to be listening to tender acoustic guitar in one hand, and immediately later been listening to a raw Crimsonian tune, such as The Ascent'. Here we can notice that he is not only a genius with acoustic guitar, no, he also knows how to make awesome and bombastic guitar solos. This track could perfectly fit in the KC Thrak album, go figure. But well, the next song 'Coulrophobia' is completely different. It is very calm, soft and atmospheric, one can close the eyes and feel relaxed here.

To be honest, that variety of sounds might be a double-edged knife, because you might think it does not have a defined sound; but on the other hand, you will welcome that vast offer of sounds that cannot be completely labelled. 'Lucid', the title track has a nice atmosphere that is easy to dig, with a sense of hope first, and then with distorted guitar it produces a raw sound. The acoustic moments return with 'K.E.A.', which works as a relaxer, I mean, here one take a deep breath and be prepared to the next song. Honestly, this is one of my least favorite tracks here. 'Street and Circus' is another of the typical Matt Stevens solo song.

'The Bridge' is the longest composition, the only one that reaches a two digit mark, with almost 12 minutes of nice music that is condensed in different passages. First it is rockier, but later it touches more the post rock fields and then they put more atmospheric nuances, in which the acoustic guitar makes us feel in another place, with a calm and beautiful sound. But then, all of a sudden drums and electric guitar appear again making a kind of alt rock / post rock sound. And the song simply flows with its different changes. The last track is 'A Boy', which is a nice solo acoustic guitar tune.

For those who don't know Matt Stevens' music, I invite you to do it, he has a lot to offer with his solo albums, and also with The Fierce and the Dead. Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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