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Angie Mattson

Monarch

Review by Josh Turner

This album's short and sweet, but gets the job done. Angie Mattson is sugar and spice and everything nice. Using many popular influences and elegantly-styled arrangements, she has put together a fine little album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Drive
As commercial as this sounds, some interesting comparisons could certainly be made to it. I hear Porcupine Tree, ColdPlay, and Sigur Ros in some of the buried arrangements. As for what's up front, Sheryl Crowe and Jewel will be heard loud and clear.
Cold Soul
This is apologetic, sad, and possesses a hardhearted soul. In no way is this a full-blown case of the silent treatment, but it surely suffers from a cold shoulder. I guess this is why you never cross a woman scorned. I wouldn't call it mean, but it's a little vexed. The country twang makes me think of the High Plains Drifter. This could be Sharon Stone in the Quick and the Dead. There is a lot of depth in the orchestrations, but it's the singing that takes precedence. For this reason, if you listen closer, you'll hear something different on each subsequent try. For example, the Mellotron (Attention: Progressive Rock Fans) in the chorus is a great touch.
Just Like Yesterday
This definitely has the Sheryl Crowe vibe. It's alive and kicking as if it's a tune being performed at the Tuesday Night Club. There may be a subtle dose of No Doubt and Black Eyed-Peas in there as well.
Fade Away
The instruments have drawn even further back. This is the opposite of the in-your-face intensity found in the last piece. This finds the gem in Jewel. It's comfortable like an old worn-out pair of jeans. It's reclining on the couch or relaxing in a warm bubbly bath. It's delightful and decadent like a box of dark chocolates.
Alright
The variation between the tracks works well as they undulate between different emotions. This has just a notch more juice than the previous piece. When it ends, you can hear her say, "It's so quiet?" You'll be thinking the same thing, as this song will be sure to leave its footprint.
Too Much
This has the angst and anxiety of a song by Bonnie Raitt, Heart, and Stevie Nicks, but the kind and tender calmness of Sarah McLaughlin.
My Next Life
Jewel must be her biggest inspiration. This again returns to the treasure chest and cashes in on that influence. It shouldn't be difficult pawning this piece as it's got obvious value. This lulls you to a state of catatonic bliss. Once the final notes fade off into the sunset, you'll be aware of all the sounds around you. If you're in a quiet room and lying down, chances are you'll fall fast asleep. This could be a useful tool for a hypnotist to have. While the album begins with a bang, it ends with these soft notes. As a whole, Angie Mattson, this wholesome globetrotting girl, has nurtured us with a nourishing album that has all the necessary essentials.
 
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