Before “Wasted Love” became popular, Matt McAndrew of The Voice already released original materials through his album View of the Pines. Released in March 2014, the album contains eight tracks of feel good music that talks about Matt’s journey on love, life and everything in between. Matt McAndrew became highly popular by singing bunch of cover songs from The Voice. Now, let us take a look at how Matt actually does in his original songs.
View of the Pines can be such a pleasant treat for people looking for some guitar-driven pop tracks. Fueled by Matt’s crystal clear vocals, the album is very specific in its intention of providing a breezy listening experience. It’s something you can actual play on repeat without being too bombarded by unnecessary vocal acrobatics. It’s just a couple of songs meant to make you fall in and out of love, in the most appropriate way.
The album opens with “My Enemy,” which is a song where Matt talks about his “first real girlfriend.” It’s probably the most generous and rather unevil way of asking someone who broke your heart if she can be your enemy. In this song, Matt brings back the good old days of singing purely from the heart, with lyrics meant to show only how the heart feels. “Angel,” a song that sounds too similar with the former, as if it is just the same song, followed “My Enemy”. Though in this song, Matt showed real vocal prowess that is comparable to the caliber of both John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
Arguably one of the standout tracks from album, “Come Close to Me” capitalizes on Matt’s storytelling skill. The believability of the song is very evident that, at one point, it is easy to recall some memories that can be linked to the song. “Hurt Me Again” and “Burning Bridges,” meanwhile, showed another dimension of Matt’s style. They easily sound like classics played on a Sunday morning. They give the same vibe as songs like Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” and Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken.” It is refreshing to hear some contemporary songs that have the quality of the classics.
The other tracks “Let’s Get Married” and “Motorbike” offer a playful side of Matt. The songs are hummable and have the sing along feel to them. “Let’s Get Married” is a radio-friendly track that can easily slay the charts, given the proper commercial treatment. “Motorbike,” on the other hand, sounds really good. It also has the potential to be visually stunning if performed in a music video. The last track “So Lonely” ranks among the best tracks in the album. Its energy is contagious, and it is even heightened by Matt’s aggressive vocals. In this case, it is true that the best is saved for last.
View of the Pines is a cohesive collection of Matt McAndrew’s artistry, amplified by his prolific songwriting skills with a straightforward approach. The songs did not need to be poetic to make sense. The purity of the songs is enough to be praiseworthy. Though the album has the tendency to be repetitive, the vocal prowess of Matt is enough reason for the album to succeed. With this album and Matt’s success after The Voice, it is really exciting to see where he will go from here. Truly, it adds to the exciting times of music.