My Silent Bravery – Can’t Quit – Album Review
Boston Massachusetts is the hometown of songsmith Matthew Wade, the alter ego of “My Silent Bravery” who released his 2011 offering “Can’t Quit” to critical acclaim. The CD cover is a minimalist affair comprising of Japanese “KOI” fish design and scripted text, which has a classical, perhaps even gothic appeal. It put me in mind of The Mission (UK) and their very first album. The collection features ten tracks, however two of those are songs are duplicates – re-worked with an acoustic feel.
The album starts off with a very upbeat and funky opening track “Four Years” complete with choppy guitar and Fender Rhodes sounds. There are seventies flavours here brought up to date with a noughties style production. Matt’s voice is dry and crisp with superbly placed harmonies, further developed as the song builds into pre-chorus and chorus and it is clear that from the start, this is a highly professional and glossy production worthy of the current chart. This song is so catchy and hooky you can’t help humming along. There is certainly no let up with the second track “Alright” which has a trippy feel-good vibe as the song bounces nicely along. The groove is both slick and tight – the perfect backdrop for the excellently placed instrumentation. There is real class here as the arrangement leaves space for each augmenting instrument to come to the fore whenever it’s called for. A very accomplished song – leading nicely onto the title track “Cant Quit” where we are placed squarely in boy-band ballad territory reminiscent of Take That and Westlife. Again, Matt’s accomplished and ultra-radio-friendly vocal, sublimely layered and supported by his harmonies, is the proverbial icing on the cake with this track. Lyrically, it is clear he is trying to push the boundaries whilst still keeping widespread appeal and accessibility – no mean feat at all! The fourth track, “Burnt out” continues the modern vibe with some R&B beats and half-time / double-time lyrics “Never thought I’d be the one to act the fool for you” as he laments a failing relationship. The rest of the tracks progress through to conclusion and maintain the very high standard right to the finish line.
It’s hard to fault this recording at all. Whilst this genre is not strictly to my taste, I couldn’t help but be mightily impressed by the sparkling accessibility and mature production – It is clear that producer Anthony J. Resta knows a thing or two about bringing out the best from “My Silent Bravery”. I would have liked to hear a little more sonic dynamic across the pieces and whilst I enjoyed the acoustic re-working of the title track and “Burnt Out” it would have been better to have just used the acoustic versions, to give a little more contrast. Just my own personal opinion of course, and nothing to take away from this truly excellent work.
Why this artist does not yet have the backing of a major label is quite beyond me. There are original elements across all of this material and it shouldn’t take much steer from the execs to place “My Silent Bravery” into a niche market position. Anyone looking for something new in the pop/rock style should get this disc ordered right now… once this act has rocketed into stardom a disk like this could end up being a real collectors gem! I for one, will be keeping an eye out for future releases from this outstanding phenomena.
–Neil Thomas (UK)
To learn more about My Silent Bravery and to purchase Can’t Quit from iTunes, go to www.mysilentbravery.com.