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The Latest: For any mood in life's journeys

February 21, 2013
  • Matt Costa's new self-titled album.
Matt Costa's new self-titled album. (Courtesy Matt Costa )

"Matt Costa"

By Matt Costa

Brushfire Records

I'm not going to lie: A part of me was expecting to hear bagpipes in at least one song from Matt Costa's self-titled album after reading on his website that he recorded most of it in Glasgow, Scotland.

But Costa's fourth and latest album with Brushfire Records put me in my place and presented me with 10 songs that showcased the Huntington Beach native's range when it comes to folk-pop.

Coming in at 33 minutes long, the album takes you on an interesting journey. There are stretches where the songs match and complement one another.

Opening the record is "Loving You," which starts with string instruments elegantly playing and then suddenly jumps up to a pleasant, upbeat tempo of a piano and backing band. Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" popped into my head when Costa sang, "As long as your heart beats, you were made for me / Where the lights are low and the smoke is thick / Let's go back to how it felt then so I can say...."

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After that peppery track, "Early November" lulls you into a cozy state, with simple beats and warm lyrics. It made me feel like I was cruising down Pacific Coast Highway with my windows down on a warm summer morning. Or it could easily be an early November morning, it being Southern California and all.

Another good pairing is "Good Times," which has a catchy chorus line — "Those good times are coming to an end" — and the following track, "Shotgun," which will have you subconsciously clapping along.

But there comes a point in the album where it takes a strange, but somewhat welcome, turn. "Silver Sea" is the only song that sounds like it had some Gaelic influence. Though most of the album was recorded at Castle of Doom Studios in Glasgow, ironically, this was the only track recorded in Los Angeles at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant.

It's a strong song that makes you feel as if you were a medieval Scotsman traveling through a foggy lake, but like the chorus in this song suggests, I, too, think this song was "lost" in the album.

Things get a little cheesy, but sweet, with "Ophelia." Though it's carried with a warm, sweet melody, the lyrics come off as desperate, begging almost. With lines like, "The night was like a deck of cards / You hit me with the ace of clubs / I'm placing all my bets / Begging you to deal me some love," it's either a hit or miss with the significant other in your life.

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