Hide Nothing Exposes Matt Alber’s True Talentmatt alber

reviewed by Ron Tackitt

Had I not seen the video for “End of the World” on Facebook, I might never have given Matt Alber’s Hide Nothing a second thought, much less a listen. Having seen the charming video, though, when we got the CD at the office, I stuck it in my computer and went on with my day, letting it play in the background.

Every once in a while I would hear something that caught my interest, but the first and second time through, I was still making myself listen. I would keep skipping ahead to “End of the World” since that was a familiar track, but ultimately, the song that really made me take notice was “The Slow Club.”

 

Rewind, turn up the volume, is that drum track really beating that quickly? It is. It does, and it’s a wonderful piece of audible texture Alber has woven into the song. For that matter, he has little touches throughout the entire album that add interest and compliment the lyrics.

Matt Alber - End of the WorldI’m not crazy about each and every song, but this is the first CD I have listened to in a long time that made me reach for the cover to read the lyrics. Alber shows a pretty wide range of vocal styles, from smooth and musical to a dull drone. I prefer the former.

The lyrics, as well as everything else, constantly pull you in and make you listen, and Alber has things to say that are enjoyable listening to. Even if he does tend to keep the pace quite slow, like on “Nonchalant,” I think “Fieldtrip Buddy” is really cute. “Song of Stars,” is just kind of weird, but “Walk With Me” gives me goose bumps.

Most people these days will never think twice about the way an album actually sounds, but if you have a decent HiFi, light a candle, grab a glass of wine and sit and listen. The production values are amazing. The sense of size and space in “The Slow Club” is great and throughout the album the simple, yet sophisticated music arrangements really bring these performances to life. Listen to “Walk With Me” and you’ll hear just what I mean. I would very much recommend buying the CD instead of downloading a compressed version from the Internet.

Hide Nothing is truly a gem. It’s interesting in an intelligent way. The more you listen to it, the more you get what Alber is doing, and that makes it a true standout.

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