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Six Kinds of Passion Looking for an Exit

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Album Review

Although this occasion — the release of seven songs more than seven years after his last full release — may not constitute a full triumph for followers of Eric Matthews, they can console themselves with the fact that the singular singer/arranger has changed very little in the interim. The mini-LP Six Kinds of Passion Looking for an Exit is a deeply confessional record, both in theme and in content. He downplays both the use of brass and emphatic arrangements from his first two records, relying largely on acoustic guitar and breathy double-tracked vocals to create an atmosphere of studied tranquility. The opener, "Worthy," and closer, "Black to Light Brown," are the only two songs featuring outside involvement, and also the only ones to evoke the baroque splendor of "Fanfare," his most popular song. Elsewhere Matthews makes a direct, oddly conversational apology to former collaborator Richard Davies on "Cardinal Is More." Like the return of Jason Falkner, another of his former companions, for the EP Bliss Descending, Eric Matthews' third record is a very muted return to past glories.


Born: 1969 in Compton, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The work of Eric Matthews was a direct reaction to the lo-fi recording practices so prevalent throughout the alternative music scene of the 1990s; while many of the decade's artists trafficked in a defiantly ragged, do-it-yourself aesthetic, Matthews' records grew out of orchestral theories and practices, and revelled in the stately elegance of warm harmonies and lush arrangements. A native of Gresham, OR, Matthews was born in 1969 and fell in love with the symphonic pop of the Beach Boys, Burt Bacharach,...
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