Matt Alber has a voice that is hard to describe, other than just glorious. There are times when I am listening to him that his voice just takes my breath away. His first album, Hide Nothing, is a constant in my iTunes rotation. And I suspect that the new release, Constant Crows, will be as well. Oh, hell, it already has... Constant Crows is a 10-song collection that feels different that Hide Nothing; it is more intimate, more personal. I feel as thought Matt is letting us peak behind the curtain, and see the true soul of the singer. It opens with a simple piano playing with Matt's voice on Velvet Goldmine. The mid-tempo song has a real joy in the chorus. The second track, The River, also starts with a piano, but in a few bars, the keyboard is joined by other instruments. Here is a clip of Alber is performing it live.
On Constant Crows, The River manages to maintain the intimate quality, while having a bigger, epic feel. Tall Tales has a softer, more confessional feeling. There is a a light Folk/Pop to Tightrope, which made me think of Joni Mitchell the first time I heard it. The fifth cut, Wallingford, gives me reason to recall the Monarch song off the first album. There is a sprawling beauty in the orchestral arrangement. Seldomly lends a light touch to a dreamy lyric and the sassy Bossa Nova beat. With Brother Moon, there is a return to the Folk/Pop feel, maybe a bit more Crosby, Stills, and Nash this time, with lilting harmonies. The opening phrases of Old Ghosts have a solitary feel, like we have returned to the confessional. The simplicity of his voice with the piano accentuates the aching in his voice. There is such a depth and beauty to The Kiss, I could put it on endless repeat. Finally, Constant Crows ends with Take A Bow, written by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and the original performer, Madonna. There is something truly lovely in the pared-back arrangement, allowing Alber's voice to just soar.
So that is my thoughts on Constant Crows, nothing short of amazing. I can't tell you how happy listening to it makes me, how much joy it brings. You can find Constant Crows on iTunes here. You can check Matt out on his website here. As hard as it is for me to admit this, I still have yet to see Matt Alber playing live. I hope that is taken care of once he is out on the road. I did have tickets to see him in Washington, DC, with Tom Goss, but we were hit with Snowmagedon, and there was no way to make it. Now I hope no other acts of nature try to keep me from this goal!