oung English singer/songwriter Matthew Jay entered the public's consciousness in 2000 before he had even released a song. In fact, the Jay received a record contract before his first live public performance. His familiar, yet fresh sound, contained on Draw is unpretentious- he creates a sort of grown up pop sound. Instruments are beautifully arranged and his voice has a very smooth touch, easy to get lost with. But, and it's a significant but, the album lacks diversity and can at times be called boring. I can agree with the premise that a good song is a good song is a good song. However, that multiplication only works for a single, not an entire album.
So is Draw good for anything? Well, there are moments in life when you're too tired for something extra clever, extra unconventional, extra hip and you just want to listen to simple, monotonous pop. You crave the hot dog instead of the fancy Asian dish. I'm sure Matthew Jay doesn't want to be perceived as a hot dog but somehow he ends up that way. He is good for certain purposes but generally this isn't revolution. I mean, it beats N'Sync but quite frankly, most things do.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a preponderance of sing along choruses. It's not that this is bad, however a voice as good as Jay's needs more challenge to be really exciting. Despite this, there are a few bright moments and fantastic songs such as "Call My Name Out", "Four Minute Rebellion", "Please Don't Send Me Away" and "Let Your Shoulder Fall".
The outstanding number is "Call My Name Out", evoking a summer breeze through open fields. It's a love song couched in the real, praising the girl's "crooked smile". The song has an even flow that soothes and puts a smile to your face. The song ends with a sing-along friendly "hey na na na yeah yeah na na na". This is where Matthew shines. He knows how to calm you down.
But herein lies the problem. Although the lyrics are not bad per se, they, just like most of the music, lack excitement. He seems to be a normal boy who has lived a normal life and doesn't have that much to tell us. The most engaging lyrical content is found on "Meteorology". It displays a word play between the rain, the storm, the sun. And this pretty much says it all. It doesn't get any more vibrant than that. Essentially, it's not a bad album to have, but you don't lose out if don't own it. You can't blame him for trying though, and he has some promising moments on the album, we'll just have to wait and see if he'll realize this potential or live happily in mediocrity.
Reviewed by: Setareh Yousefi
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01
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