Categories
Pop Sunday

The Legal Matters / Chapter Three

The Legal Matters

Chapter Three (Futureman Records 2021)

https://futuremanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chapter-three


We’re not even halfway into the year, and already an abundance of phenomenal music has been released. Parked right at the top.of the pile is the third album from The Legal Matters, which is appropriately dubbed Chapter Three. Comprised of singers, songwriters and instrumentalists Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith, the Michigan-based band roped in “unofficial member” Donny Brown to play drums on this remarkable album.

 Brimming brightly with layers of luscious harmonies and reels of rock solid melodies, Chapter Three spools out one serviceable pop tune after another. Echoes of artists such as The Beach Boys, The Eagles, The Smithereens and Matthew Sweet may be apparent, yet The Legal Matters possess the proper tools to refurbish these influences into their own recognizable style.

 An exquisite  ballad, The Painter, pins heart-wrenching lyrics to plush and expansive arrangements, resulting in a spellbinding survey of sadness and beauty. Vibrant vocals, teeming with power and polish, aided by a spot of swirling Hammond organ fills a la Procol Harum, also carpet the striking track.

 Conceived of shifting tempos, Independence Well Spent juggles soft textures with a menacing crunch, and the jingling bounce of Please Make A Sound captures everything that constitutes a perfect pop song. Spiked with the whirring zoom of a synthesizer, Light Up The Sky illuminates the band’s incredible lung prowess and telepathic musicianship to towering heights. 

Fashioned of a dance hall beat that would prompt Ray Davies to glow with paternal pride, The World Is Mine pedals in as a subsequent revelation, while the atmospheric patterns of Passing Chord yields a lovely choral pop vibe.

 Stuffed to the stars with smooth and stately pop pleasures, Chapter Three is the kind of album that has no expiration date. These great songs are so timeless that they could have been recorded in any era. The Legal Matters boast both the talent and wisdom to craft and perform long-lasting music, and having said that, I can hardly wait to hear their next chapter of sonic creations. 

Categories
Quick Spins

Amy Petty / The Darkness Of Birds

Amy Petty

The Darkness of Birds (Self-released)

http://www.amypettymusic.com

Sometimes I come across an artist and am so impressed, that I have no choice but to immerse myself in their back catalog. This happened when I first heard Kathleen Edwards, Neil Finn, Suzanne Vega and several others. Among songwriters at this level, there is an investment of themselves in the music that is immediately respectable (and intriguing).

Petty’s music is often dark, “Undertow,” and dripping with atmosphere, but her urgent vocals are ripe with hope. “The Dreams That Are Waiting for Us” and “Liar and a Thief” feel somber, yet inviting, like a warm cup of coffee waiting on a cafe table in late Autumn. The production is sparse and warm, letting Petty’s voice and thoughtful lyrics stand up front, right where they should be. Lovely.

D.P.