Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Marco Mattei — Out of Control
(7d Media Third Star TDS 2103, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2022-03-20
I’m all for expressing philosophical and social opinions in music, but I’ll admit to being highly critical of lyrics that approach such subjects too directly. I don’t like listening to songs whose lyrics sound like they were pulled off an “inspirational” poster. All of which I bring up to express my distaste for “Would I Be Me,” the opening track on Marco Mattei’s debut album. “If I had dark skin, would I be me? … If I was a girl, would I be me? … If I could not stand, would I be me?” He presents a list of virtually every quality a person can have that is often used to judge them, and while I absolutely applaud his sentiment, these clumsy lyrics leave me ill-disposed to enjoy the music, which is quite decent otherwise. It’s very much patterned after Peter Gabriel’s mid-80s sound, and even features two of the primary musicians in Gabriel’s band: Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta. Luckily, later tracks feature better words. Mattei is primarily a guitarist, but also plays bass, percussion, and bouzouki, along with providing samples and programming. Levin and Marotta are among a host of others who contribute, including Duilio Galioto (keyboards), Clive Deamer (drums), Paul Johnson (flute, whistle), Diederik van den Brandt (pedal steel), Rob Wakefield (violin), Paolo Gianfrate (keyboards), Matt Crain (drums), Gianni Pierannunzio (drums), Fabio Trentini (bass), Chad Wackerman (drums), Max Rosati (guitar), and others. Lead vocals are handled by a number of different singers: Dave Bond, Richard Farrell, Barak Seguin, Felix Brandt, and Matthew Brown. There are a few delicate acoustic pieces which are lovely, as well as a few more rock-oriented songs. The Peter Gabriel comparison crops up from time to time, though not on every song. Out of Control is somewhat of a mixed bag, with some excellent tracks offset by some which are less interesting.
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