Matt Nathanson – Modern Love

A sunny acoustic pop effort, deserving of all the praise (and cliches) we can throw its way…

Rating: 9/10

I first stumbled across Matt Nathanson courtesy of the American Pie soundtracks. So it’s fitting – if coincidental – that he’s come back into my life at the same time as the last slice of pie hits the screen.

There’s this cheesy (comma sexy) aura that clings to such singer-songwriters like a rash. No-one’s really sure where it came from, but a man, a guitar and a dose of melodramatic angst is a potent mix to weaken the knees. But it’s not a mix that everyone’s happy to yield.

Now, these brave souls have a choice – they may shun this aura, and cast it into the fiery depths of Simon Cowell’s arse. Or they can just go with it and have some fun. Nathanson has played his hand once more, and the fun goes on and on…

Modern Love is rich in melody and finger-tappin’ goodness. It’s aware of its own clichés, and it’s happy to play the part – the ‘pantomime villain’ of the music world.

It has been out a while now (sorry for the delay – study comes first, kids…) but just as summer looks set to engulf us – bringing with it an overwhelming wave of cheesy acoustic pop – it seems like the right time to sing the praises of an album that’s stuck in my head (and my car stereo.)

So, that’s another cliché to tick off. It’s summery. It drums up campfires, beaches and plenty of other sweltering Western nonsense. But it does so proudly, with enough sensibility to take on the nay-sayers. Who gives a damn if it’s corny? Matt Nathanson isn’t some new kid on the block. He’s been around (and round, and around…) so there’s no way he’s naïve to such a simple truth.

Singer-songwriters exist for one season only – the summer. They breathe barbecue smoke, drink from plastic cups (like the ones in the movies) and probably end their nights with a cheeky tale or two. Matt Nathanson must surely be on the high council of such a bright and bouncy order, and Modern Love is another example (as if we needed another) of why we all need a little fix of cheesy summery pop , even if we won’t admit it…

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