Matt and Toby
Matt And Toby


3.0
good

Review

by Jacob Royal STAFF
November 25th, 2012 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emery's frontmen go simpler and softer, and the end product isn't half bad.

Matt & Toby isn't a very interesting album. I don't think any of us expected it to be, either, considering the direction in which the latest Emery album headed. Let me qualify myself here, though: I was one of the few that found We Do What We Want to be very solid. It certainly isn't an album one listens to for consistency's sake, but overall the album contains some of Emery's most gripping tracks. However, its last few songs were pretty concerning. We all knew Emery loves Jesus, but having his name as the focal point of the album's end was too blatant to work. Despite the overtly religious theme at the end of the album, though, even the music was unpleasant. “I Never Got to See the West Coast” probably looked promising on paper, but somewhere in the transcribing process the song morphed into a yawn-inducing mess.

Now, this didn't necessarily spell disaster for Matt & Toby's decision to go acoustic; the duo has it in them to write catchy tunes that also happen to be stripped down. We can clearly see on the album that the formula sometimes works, like in the album’s first single “Life of the Party.” What a good way to introduce us to what this whole thing should have felt like, right? The song isn't the most innovative, and you've probably heard that chord structure more times than you care for, but it's done incredibly well here. Maybe it can be attributed to the nonchalant way that Matt & Toby go about it, as one can see in the track's video. They're having fun, and they want you to join them in the charades.

If only the whole album played this way, though. While Matt & Toby has its occasional moments of splendor, the majority of the album passes by unnoticed, like a semi-decent actor in the streets of Hollywood. It's hard to recall any of the tracks here, to be honest – many of them feel like feeble rehashes of Emery's prior work. The duo attempts to make it look like this isn't the case through instrumental variation: bouncy piano here, strings there. But one doesn't need a microscope to see that there's the same DNA at each song's core, despite what petty changes may occur.

Believe it or not, I consider this album to be a success. Despite my incredibly high standards for these two, I concede that their debut's enjoyable. No, I won't ever listen to it again, but at least the two fleshed out this desire for acoustic tracks before Emery's next album comes out. This release is what's truly on everybody's mind, but Matt & Toby will only whet some fans' appetites before the next installment of Emery is released.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


10361 Comments


"Life of the Party" (video) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCM52AhwqWk

"Good Boys" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkU13wE1eA4

"What Plays in My Head" (video?) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3f_TeKHi4E

Taking over for DaveyBoy!

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


4453 Comments


Good review. I listened to "What Plays in My Head", it was a really nice song.

mindleviticus
November 25th 2012


8326 Comments


This actually sounds really good

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


Great review Jacob, have a pos. A few very minor things:

"established an enormous fanbase and pleased their fans" doesn't quite sound right. It makes it sound like they only pleased their fans once, maybe "have established..."?

Opening line of the third paragraph doesn't really tell me anything - I don't particularly care that the opening single was met with positive feelings. I'd just say it was good because etc etc etc and leave that out.

First sentence of P4 feels awkwardly worded.

Otherwise, great work!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


10361 Comments


Thanks Paperback! It has some catchy songs, that's for sure.

Will, thanks a lot for the feedback. First off, I actually did say "has established," I think you just missed it. :] And your other observations were really helpful.

It's so easy to get lost in your own words that you can't see glaringly obvious errors.

YoYoMancuso
November 25th 2012


11189 Comments


good review pos

Eko
November 25th 2012


2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

woah your recs, didn't think anyone else here listened to Least of These or Loud Harp. I don't see the comparison to either though. and Loud Harp is kinda boring.

great review though, this is probably a 3.5 for me I think

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


Whoops, must have been zoning out when I was typing that, didn't mean to say it haha. I mean something like "continually pleased" or whatever explicitly says "not just once."

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


Double post dammit

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


Triple post?

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


GAH

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


3492 Comments


I give up, my internet is terrible

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


10361 Comments


The weird thing about your comment repeating five times is that they change halfway through, then revert to the original comment. Haha. Thanks though, that is a good point.

Thanks Eko. These recs were primarily based off lyrical content, which is why they're stylistically different. And it seems I'd be able to think of good musical recs besides Emery, but I found myself unable to think of any group that sounds like Matt & Toby. I'm sure they exist; I just don't know this style of music as well as I could.

Eko
November 25th 2012


2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I rec'd Vocal Few, David Bazan, and Derek Webb when I reviewed this but it's whatevs. I was just surprised to see those bands getting rec'd at all. I dig Least of These a lot.

bloc
November 25th 2012


35004 Comments


Huge Emery fan here, but if it's all acoustic forget it...

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012


10361 Comments


Bloc, at least check out a few of the songs I posted above. There's some good stuff here, although it's all a bit tamer than I hoped.

On a side note, I completely rewrote this review! Once again, constructive feedback appreciated =]

breakingthefragile
November 26th 2012


2962 Comments


Congrats on the feature man, rewriting it must have done some magic haha.

hesperus
November 26th 2012


185 Comments


inb4 Eric hates it.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2012


10361 Comments


Hehe, I guess so Alex. ;] thanks, man.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2012


10361 Comments


Hehe, I guess so Alex. ;] thanks, man.



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