|Matt Maltese — Bad Contestant (June 8, 2018)|
Matt Maltese — Bad Contestant (June 8, 2018)••♥ The Bad Contestant se snaží zvítězit nade všemi našimi srdci. First 400 come signed with a poetry zine. Bad Contestant is Matt Maltese’s debut album, released through Café Bleu / Atlantic. Produced by Jonathan Rado (Foxygen), Alex Burey and Felix White. There’s something timeless and classic about Matt Maltese. Listening to Matt Maltese’s music is like looking through an eclectic wardrobe, where vintage accessories sit happily next to brand new pink suits. You can hear the Leonard Cohen running through it, but you can also hear the more contemporary influences of the current booming South London scene at play.
Location: London, UK
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Piano Rock
Album release: June 8, 2018
Record Label: Atlantic Records UK
01 Greatest Comedian 2:47
02 Bad Contestant 2:54
03 Sweet 16 3:40
04 Like a Fish 3:22
05 Nightclub Love 4:11
06 Less & Less 4:09
07 Misery 2:32
08 Strange Time 3:20
09 Guilty 3:06
10 As the World Caves In 3:43
11 Mortals 5:25
REVIEWER: ALEX CABRÉ; Score: *****
Dazzling, idiosyncratic brilliance.
••♥ In a short space of time, Matt Maltese has positioned himself as one of the most exciting emerging British songwriters in years. The 21~year~old’s stunning releases have ranged in tone from jaunty and upbeat to downright morbid; appropriately, ‘Bad Contestant’ is a stunning debut with two very opposing personalities.
••♥ Think Father John Misty — but beardless and metropolitan — and you’re on your way to getting Matt’s witty lyrics, the focal point throughout. He muses about romance and sadness, often mixing the two, but where others might wallow in their misfortune, he gives every anecdote an ironic spin, soaring gracefully away from ‘gruff hipster on an acoustic’ territory and into the realm of indie icons; the essence of Jarvis is detectable in his dry, pithy lines. At times he’s heartfelt, longing for the partner that god put “so far away” on ‘Greatest Comedian’. Elsewhere, less so; “I can always passively aggressively put you in a song”, he quips on ‘Sweet 16’.
••♥ Sonically, ‘Bad Contestant’ revels in kitschy splendour, partially down to Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, who brings a Californian warmth to an otherwise overcast collection of songs on production duties, his touch most obvious on the title track’s warm organ / guitar combo.
••♥ Shrouded behind the sultry dress~up are glimmers of chart pop potential; the earworms of ‘Like A Fish’ and ‘Misery’ hint that Matt could make some IRL indie bangers à la Alex Turner if he fancied. However, this album does equally well with its subtle, unexpected nuances, the sorrowful ending to the otherwise jaunty ‘Sweet 16’ and the chirpy backing vocals on ‘Nightclub Love’ that sound like they’re sung by miniature shoulder~perched versions of himself, to name a couple. When he really lets rip, Matt Maltese can do grand and orchestral too, but for the most part this enigmatic young voice needs only a simple piano accompaniment to deliver dazzling, idiosyncratic brilliance. ••♥ http://diymag.com/2018/06/08/matt-maltese-bad-contestant
By Nick Reilly, Jun 6, 2018 1:59 pm / Score: ****
••♥ The schmaltz never halts on this superb debut from the 21~year~old Reading crooner
••♥ Last month, NME attempted to answer a very important question: what exactly is schmaltzcore? The answer, it transpired, is the sound being championed by a young brigade of sensitive pop piano wizards who are crafting soul~bearing jazz ballads for a new generation. And, while it’s been responsible for the emergence of Tom Misch and Rex, Orange County, Matt Maltese might just prove to be the scene’s greatest offering to date.
••♥ On ‘Bad Contestant’, the 21~year~old creates a stunning debut that is packed with wisdom beyond his tentative years, and lyrics filled with scathing humour at every turn. From the opening bars of ‘Greatest Comedian’, Maltese’s staggering abilities as a lyricist shine through as he pulls in surreal imagery to create the unlikeliest of backhanded compliments: “You’re the highest quality hardwood door / You’re the final wartime piece of bread.”
••♥ Crucially, though, it just so happens to also be one of 2018’s funkiest jams. Maltese knows precisely when to tone down the aforementioned schmaltz in favour of a toe~tapper. It’s a similar story on titular track ‘Bad Contestant’, which provides Maltese with a soul~bearing, confessional moment as he assumes the guise of a luckless game show hopeful. The whole thing is so deliciously retro that you’re half expecting the ghost of Bruce Forsyth to show up.
••♥ It an impressive and consistently varied effort. While there are jaunty jams aplenty, ‘Misery’ sounds like the big hit that Pink Floyd never wrote, with Maltese’s distinctive croon backed by whirring guitars for a darkened reflection on human mortality. In fact, the latter half of the album is almost entirely masked in darkness — and it’s done with a sense of black humour and sardonic jabs that are fast becoming Maltese’s trademark. ‘Strange Time’, meanwhile, might be one of Maltese’s most world~weary efforts, but it’s got an haunting piano~led quality that wouldn’t sound out of place at the beginning of a Bond film.
••♥ The record undoubtedly reaches a very strange apex with ‘When The World Caves In’, an epic ballad that provides the unlikely representation of Donald Trump and Theresa May shacking up as the world faces certain nuclear oblivion. It’s a image that will be eternally burnt into your cerebrum, but one that’s also totally in keeping with the sardonic humour that’s constantly weaved through the record.
••♥ At times joyful and at others surprisingly moving, ‘Bad Contestant’ sets Maltese on the start of a path that marks him out as a true prodigious talent. This is the voice of a true original. The future, it seems, is schmaltz. ••♥ http://www.nme.com/
JUNE 6, 2018
|Matt Maltese — Bad Contestant (June 8, 2018)|