Scott Matthew - This Here Defeat

A sublime listening experience.  Hauntingly beautiful.  A masterpiece of cathartic dirge-like torch songs.

Having been a long time fan of Scott Matthew I was fairly confident I would enjoy this record.  He has such a wonderful soulful voice that is earthy and ephemeral at the same time.  His songwriting is simple and true with an edge of humor by not afraid to touch painful topics.

The tracklist:
1. Effigy
2. Skyline
3. Constant
4. Soul to Save
5. Ruined Heart
6. This Here Defeat
7. Bittersweet
8. Here We Go Again
9. Ode
10. Palace of Tears

There is no need to breakdown these tracks individually.  I would be chasing words trying to find new ways to describe them without repeating descriptors repeatedly.  The songs stand alone and are by no means repetitious of each other, however, when trying to describe them it is hard not to make them sound too similar.  "Bittersweet" is the one song that is genuinely different in tone and spirit, a skipping, happy, whistling tune.  It was nice to hear more prominent ukulele playing within the instrumentation, I missed it on the last couple records.

I do have to share a few words about my experience pre-ordering the album from jpc. The website was a little shy on descriptors when trying to figure out what I was ordering exactly.  The CD/LP looked like the best deal as it also came signed.  So that's what I ordered...... and finally after people that did not pre-order it have already had it for 2 weeks it arrived today.  The cardboard packaging was rather flimsy and of course the jacket is wrinkled and bent.  Then I see it is shrink-wrapped which most signed items are not... Inside I find a gatefold jacket that is nicely designed but the lyrics are minute.  This isn't a CD case, this is an album, lyrics shouldn't require magnification.  OK - but I did get a CD?LP combo but there was no CD in the mailing package... well, let me look at the album sleeve, oh it's just a generic white sleeve... but there is an insert with the elusive signature - it is nice enough, shiny magazine quality, photo paper, not cardstock but it is there.  And once everything else was removed I found the CD in a plain white paper sleeve, glued shut - pretty much a useless package that needs discarding - but now I have a CD with no packaging.... Not sure this was the best deal in the world.  I love Scott Matthew's records, but I did not find this experience pleasurable at all.  I feel rather let down by the manufacturing and distribution of this record.  I hope he finds a better company for his next effort or that they improve.  As far as the design of the LP jacket and why the print was so small, and nothing but a generic sleeve, well I never no how much to blame the artist and/or the management company.  Maybe he is a great musician and could use better assistance with the graphic art piece.

Anyway - I am sure you will enjoy listening to the record, I certainly did.  I might suggest sticking to one format and not doing the CD/LP combo though.


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