10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anyone familiar with Emery's Christian screamo rock will find this side project from members Matt Carter and Toby Morrell a real sonic departure. But if the acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies of Matt & Toby seem unexpected, the duo’s lyrical themes of faith, love, and loneliness are on par with Emery’s body of work. On its own terms, the album shines with supple melodies, well-tailored production, and life-affirming spirit. Moments of pure pop joy can be found here, with “Prodigal Sons & Daughters” standing out for its celebratory chorus and electronica-tinged arrangement. Tracks like “Life of the Party” and “What Plays in My Head” combine shimmering guitars and catchy choruses with glimpses of broken families and thwarted relationships. Such dark moments are balanced by the hope found in such God-centered tunes as “Take Me Oh Lord in Thy Hands” and “Come Home.” “Good Boys” (a wistful number with an ‘80s pop feel) and “The Last One” (a story song in a country/folk vein) are strong ballad entries. Matt & Toby is a heartfelt, eminently tuneful project that deserves a follow-up.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anyone familiar with Emery's Christian screamo rock will find this side project from members Matt Carter and Toby Morrell a real sonic departure. But if the acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies of Matt & Toby seem unexpected, the duo’s lyrical themes of faith, love, and loneliness are on par with Emery’s body of work. On its own terms, the album shines with supple melodies, well-tailored production, and life-affirming spirit. Moments of pure pop joy can be found here, with “Prodigal Sons & Daughters” standing out for its celebratory chorus and electronica-tinged arrangement. Tracks like “Life of the Party” and “What Plays in My Head” combine shimmering guitars and catchy choruses with glimpses of broken families and thwarted relationships. Such dark moments are balanced by the hope found in such God-centered tunes as “Take Me Oh Lord in Thy Hands” and “Come Home.” “Good Boys” (a wistful number with an ‘80s pop feel) and “The Last One” (a story song in a country/folk vein) are strong ballad entries. Matt & Toby is a heartfelt, eminently tuneful project that deserves a follow-up.

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