Matt Elliott
Drinking Songs


4.5
superb

Review

by Arnaud USER (4 Reviews)
March 27th, 2013 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A message in a bottle

It is with his guitar and to the sound of brass instruments and accordion that characterize the folk movement as well as all the melancholy that comes with it that Matt Elliott, singer/ songwriter/ performer of the self-named group, takes us, sometimes literally, deep down into the abyss of Drinking Songs. Dark from the beginning to the end, the album highly benefits from the homogeneity of its components: already back in 2005, Elliott is at a stage where he is fully aware of its capabilities and its limitations, both musically and in terms of the writing of his songs, which consist for the most part of short but visually rich poems. The first track, entitled CF Bundy, is made of some four lines sung rather subtly in a voice that reflects a deep lamentation:

Face down & f*cked again
Taste of blood again
Know that you three
were the last thing that I've seen


And never, during the 1:15 that lasts Drinking Songs, will Matt Elliott rise up, constantly overwhelmed by the torments that we share a little more with him as he leaves more and more room to his vocals and as the album progresses. In the second song, Trying To Explain, it is with a much deeper voice, almost incomprehensible, that Elliott gives life to a grotesque character we imagine mumbling his pint to the bottom of a warm wet tavern. Then comes The Guilty Party, in which Elliott, opting for a more acute sound both on guitar and on piano, plays on a rainy background, adding texture to the piece. After the fourth track, What’s Wrong, perhaps the definition of folk itself as the accordion joins Elliott in his eternal gloomy singing, the table is set for one of the major pieces of the album. Because even if the climate of distress is already well established, it is with 11 minutes long The Kursk that Elliott confirms his writing talents, he who tells the story of a crew being found trapped in a Russian submarine (K-141 Kursk) after an explosion, back in the early 2000’s. Although several sailors perished on the spot, there is evidence that some of the men on board had survived several hours or even a few days with no light in the depths of the sea. The music, which begins with the sound of what appears to be the explosion itself, gives way to the beautiful guitar of Matt Elliott who, with a voice that contains the misery of a whole crew, requires only a few lines long repeated, almost to the like a choir formed of the shipwrecked, to lead us by the side of the mariners:

It's cold I'm afraid
It's been like this for a day
The water is rising and slowly we're dying
We won't see light again
We won't see our wives again


On a different level, the same depressive atmosphere remains for the two songs that follow, What The F*uck Am I Doing On This Battlefied? and A Waste Of Blood which complete in an honest way the dark folk frame then staged in Drinking Songs which, at this moment, could take an end and leave more than satisfied anyone who recognize the beauty that lies in a sad and depressing music (think here Low, for example). Elliott does not stop there. The Maid We Messed, final piece of the album, stands out by its entirely instrumental 20 minutes and by the addition of electronic elements in its composition. We almost regret that the artist had not ventured there earlier; the electro-percussions married to the piano is a surprisingly effective mix, and Elliott reaches an intensity on this track that remained unseen beforehand in Drinking Songs. If the rest of the album takes place in the depths of a ship’s hold, The Maid We Messed represents the hurricane raging outside.

Undeniably in control of his art, Matt Elliott has made of Drinking Songs a beautiful and touching letter left in a bottle, within the reach of every lone sailor, the time of a storm.


user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Arnaud
March 26th 2013


183 Comments


I'm glad to write my first review on Matt Elliott, a great artist who I think deserves more exposure on here.

toxin.
March 27th 2013


12427 Comments


good review from what i skimmed
will give you more serious feedback after a night of rest (if i remember to!)

wabbit
March 27th 2013


7000 Comments


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arnaud
March 28th 2013


183 Comments


Thanks!

Killerhit
March 28th 2013


5250 Comments


this whole album sounds like one big hangover

pos

ffs
March 28th 2013


4874 Comments


i liked howling songs and i like drinking so i guess ill listen to this ! !

Arnaud
March 28th 2013


183 Comments


If you're already in a bad mood this music can really screw you up

Pheromone
July 9th 2014


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty much already a favourite. The instrumental endings can get grating though as it appears in about every song

Digging: Doves - Lost Souls

Xar
July 20th 2014


1222 Comments


this is really good

Digging: The Weeknd - House of Balloons

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2014


20675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

Pheromone
July 20th 2014


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's cold I'm afraid
It's been like this for a day
The water is rising and slowly we're dying
We won't see light again
We won't see our wives again

Pheromone
August 14th 2014


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can anyone tell me any artists that make music similar to "The Maid We Messed"

Pheromone
August 14th 2014


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PhSpJppLu4


Arnaud
August 19th 2014


183 Comments


If you liked The Maid We Messed, I suggest you check out Matt Elliott's album The Mess We Made

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmSoW6H5ViI

itchybutthole
August 19th 2014


2491 Comments


this sounds amazing

Arnaud
August 19th 2014


183 Comments


The same pattern goes on this track, beautiful stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LGfkd5TsUY



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy