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It's Heavy in Here

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Album Review

One of the finest debut albums of the 1990s, It's Heavy in Here brings forth to the public a new artist fully grown, refined, and with an undeniable attitude of exploration. Indeed, a heady combination, but Eric Matthews delivers in grand style with 14 gems that sparkle like rare tiaras. Mixing elements of classical, pop, jazz, and a bit of folk, the songs are well-crafted mosaics, and grab the listener with a slightly narcotic tug of the sleeve. Influences ranging from Colin Blunstone (the vocals) to Bernard Herrmann (string arrangements) give the entire affair a stately grace. "Three Cornered Moon" is a great example of this, with its waltz-time feel and arrangement that crosses chamber music with an almost Chet Baker, West Coast cool jazz flavor. Other tracks, such as the brilliant "Fanfare" (which one writer described as "the 'Penny Lane' of the 1990s"), are more direct and immediate in their mellifluousness, yet retain an air of mystery, with Matthews using words as musical instruments, juggling insights with a wonderful sense of style that is slightly reminiscent of Van Dyke Parks. In the end though, despite all of the influences mentioned, Eric Matthews is his own man and artist, and this album is a seamless cornerstone to a catalog that is (one can only hope) unfolding.

Customer Reviews

are you kidding me??!!

It amazes me that people take time to write reviews of the crap listed on top album and top song lists, but no one has written a reiview of this album!!! Well, I am glad I am the first. What is the last album that you have listened to that you can truly label as "unique". Such an adjective is rarely, if ever uttered out of the mouth of people listening to music from the past 20 years. Each track is its' own symphony emphasizing what a "musician" is and what they can be capable of....I can go on and on, but take my word......BUY THIS NOW!!!!

Best Record of the 90's

Seriously, this is my favorite record released in the 90's. Ahead of it's time, intricately orchestrated, beautiful poetic lyrics, blah, blah, blah... I'm still stunned that it didn't garner more popular acclaim. A must have for any fan of XTC, Todd Rundgren, Nick Drake, Beach Boys, etc.

Unique

Ahead of anything else of its time. Listen today to both Eric Matthews albums and you'll be amazed how enjoyable and rich of harmony and ideas they are, and still, in the case of "It's heavy in here", essential. One of "today's" best alternative albums, no doubt. Sounding terrific, "tapey", beautifuly recorded and mixed. Check also his second album and Cardinal first project. Stay tuned as they have something new in the coming months !

Biography

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,...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Eric Matthews