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Matt Townsend and the Wonder of the World

Matt Townsend and the Wonder of the World

Review by G. W. Hill

This album feels like it could have been released in the 1960s. It’s very much a folk rock disc with a retro sound. In fact, the most obvious comparison is Arlo Guthrie. That’s in reference to Guthrie’s serious pieces, though as this doesn’t go into the comedic stuff like Guthrie does – or the spoken stories. It shares the same musical palate as Guthrie and the vocals sounds similar. This is quite an effective disc. It comes highly recommended to fans of folk music who think there aren’t any new artists plying the trade. This proves that there are.

Track by Track Review
Seventh Story

Folk rock and country mix on this. It really feels like it could have come out in the late 1960s. It’s a great bit of nostalgia. It’s also quite tasty.

Carry On
The general concept here is the same. That said, this doesn’t have the same level of energy until later in the piece. Some theremin in the mix here lends some spacey sounds to the piece, though.
Hollow City (Free Me to My Soul)
This is a lot more of a rocker. It’s still set in the same general territory as the rest of the disc, though. There is some theremin on this one, too. It’s one of my favorites here and real winner.
Wind Without the Rain
A much mellower tune than the previous ones, this one works really well. Somehow that sedate nature lends a real vulnerability. That vulnerability (along with other elements) makes this piece one of the best here.
Takin' a Moment
This definitely rocks out more than some of the rest do. It is arguably the most Arlo Guthrie like tune here. It’s also another highlight. Sometimes the chorus on this lends the most modern sound here, at times feeling a bit like alternative rock.
Desire Like a Lion
Intricate picked guitar makes up the basis for this mellow folk number. It’s both another that definitely makes me think of Arlo Guthrie and a highlight.
The Garden Where the Grass Forever Grows
Another standout, this might be my favorite cut of the set. It’s got that same folk meets 1960s rock sound, but somehow the vocal line is more compelling on this one. The whole piece just has a lot of energy and a real growing structure that makes it the kind of thing that sticks with the listener for a long time.
Love I'm Coming Home
Another retro styled electric folk tune, this is strong. It’s not really a stand out, but works well nonetheless.
Gratitude in Being
The bulk of this song is in a mellower arrangement, but it gets a more powered up treatment later. Some theremin shows up the mix on this one. It’s a strong cut and a great choice for closer.
 
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